South Africans awake to 10 new ministers. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has been stamped out. As notable is new Minister Police Fikile Mbalula.
The ‘liberal DA media’ got it wrong. For months, newspapers have taken the side of Cyril Ramaphosa and Gwede Mantashe in the internal battle for control of the ANC and an alternative future for the country. To the public, they sold the battle as neck and neck, sometimes even favouring the rebels. However, last night, President Jacob Zuma proved that he’s in control by axing 10 ministers and their deputies.
Zuma intensified his populist path to staying in power with, “I have directed the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers to work tirelessly with their colleagues to bring about radical socio-economic transformation and to ensure that the promise of a better life for the poor and the working class becomes a reality.”
This is reinforced by him bringing in younger leaders and promoting a revisionist such as Fikile Mbalula (45yrs) to Minister of Police.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Deputy Finance Minister Mcebesi Jonas have been axed and respectively replaced with Malusi Gigaba (45yrs) and Sifiso Buthelezi (54).
Gigaba has a degree in education and a masters degree in social policy. He will be criticised for having no relevant experience for his new position as the controller of the economy. Buthelezi is arguably the real minister with him being the CEO of the Makana Investment Corporation (MIC) whose mission is to “to create a truly Black Empowered network. And in so doing, to right the historical injustices of the Apartheid regime by seeking out and growing previously disadvantaged talent, creating and investing in South African businesses.”
51% of MIC is owned by the Makana Trust which is chaired by Tokyo Sexwale.
Sexwale’s name will likely be in the midst of storm as he is also the Chairperson of Trillian Capital which was said to be friends of the Gupta’s and to have known weeks in advance of (what became) the failed attempt to make Des van Rooyen the finance minister. Sexwale was also a business partner of the Guptas in Sahara Computers. Through Makana and the Deputy Minister, he becomes linked again.
The EFF’s “radical economic transformation” demand was recently stolen by the ANC, a populist defence whilst Zuma was under fire. However, to stay in power, he’ll need to put it into affect. The cabinet reshuffle seems geared towards that.
The dominant headlines this week will refer to Pravin Gordhan and the sinking value of the Rand (4% so far). Ironically, maybe even intentionally, those headlines will encourage the Rand to sink further. The negative outlook will be reinforced by the opposition parties because they need the economy to dive so that they can be seen to be the rescuers. South Africa is in for a helluva swim.
I may seem cynical but power is power and greed is greed. It holds no right or wrong, just ‘me, me and me’. Whilst the ANC’s corruption has being clearly put on display, the DA’s corruption in the Western Cape has stealthily moved forward under its shadow. This isn’t South Africa for South Africans, it’s a South Africa for the USA, EU, China etc. Then there’s billionaire movers and shakers such as Nathan Kirsh and the Guptas. Our political leaders are far more likely to dance for them than us because our wallets are slimmer.
Will the losers of this ANC power struggle join forces with opposition parties to oust Zuma? Or will Zuma consolidate his power? Those ministers who try hide in between will be forced to show their true colours. That applies, most of all, to the South African Communist Party (SACP) which seems to have completely lost its identity as it sought to win crumbs from the table of the ANC.
Added into the mix is Buzzfeed’s statement that Zuma agreed to leave the Presidency in 2018, one year early, if the ANC’s executive agreed to fire Gordhan. If true, that would mean minimal betrayals, providing Zuma another year to plan his next move.
The joke is on those who have ridiculed the Zuma’s education. He’s proven to be damn street smart.
Parliament is guaranteed to be interesting. Court cases are going to flood. The ridiculous political sex of the DA and EFF will continue whilst the seriousness of the future of South Africa is fought for.
These are the winners of the cabinet reshuffle:
- Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba
- Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula
- Minister of Energy Mmamoloko “Nkhensani” Kubayi
- Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi
- Minister of Public Works Nathi Nhleko,
- Minister of Sports and Recreation Thembelani Nxesi
- Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa
- Minister of Public Service and Administration Faith Muthambi
- Minister of Home Affairs Hlengiwe Mkhize
- Minister of Communications Ayanda Dlodlo