South Africa’s Jacob Zuma yesterday made a shocking move with the announcement of a cabinet reshuffle that saw the swap of 6 ministers.
This announcement comes barely a week after Zuma’s visit to Nigeria and in the wake of a recent Supreme Court ruling that upheld a lower court’s decision to reinstate corruption charges against the embattled South African president.
According to a statement from the presidency, Higher Education-training Minister and South African Communist Party (SACP) Secretary-General, Blade Nzimande, has been removed from his position while several others have been given different portfolio’s.
Nzimande, a huge critic of the president who is also calling for Zuma’s resignation, was relieved of his ministerial duties and replaced with Ayanda Dlodlo, whose communications portfolio now goes to Mmamoloko Kubayi.
Former Deputy Education Minister, Mduduzi Manana‚ who resigned this year after assaulting a woman at a Johannesburg nightclub, has been replaced by Buti Manamela‚ a former deputy minister for planning and monitoring in the presidency.
This is Zuma’s second cabinet reshuffle this year. In March, he fired five ministers, including the then finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas. They were replaced by former home affairs minister, Malusi Gigaba and Sifiso Buthelezi, respectively, while Fikile Mbalula was given the position of police minister.
During his visit to Nigeria, South Africa’s president was honored by a Nigeria’s State ( Imo State) Governor, Rochas Okorocha and bestowed the chieftaincy title of Ochiaga. The Imo State government further honored the South African president by unveiling a statue of him in Owerri.
The reshuffle lead to a fall in the country’s currency, 0.5% minutes after Zuma’s announcement. The currency — which was trading at 13.29 rand to the U.S. dollar early this morning, moved to 13.39 after news of the reshuffle.