Lobbying for Cabinet starts

2012-05-26 20:30

Lobbying to fill the position of late public service and administration minister Roy Padayachie has begun.

Seven sources close to various ministers told City Press that Padayachie’s death earlier this month would give President Jacob Zuma an opportunity to strengthen his hand with another Cabinet reshuffle.

But a government official said it was too soon after the Cabinet changes in October last year and could make the country look unstable.

This could harm Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s chances of being
elected African Union (AU) Commission chairperson in July, the official said.

“We cannot be seen not to know what we are doing. If she goes to the AU, there will need to be another reshuffle anyway.”

Another source speculated that Zuma could wait until after the ANC’s policy conference in June to make his move.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Defence and Military Veterans Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla have both been punted as possible candidates to fill Padayachie’s position.

Two sources said Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu could move to a ministry in the presidency.

The rumour that Planning Minister Trevor Manuel wants to leave Cabinet has resurfaced, but a National Planning Commission insider said Manuel could not be moved now because “the planning process is under way”.

Two sources said Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula could move to defence, but defence spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said the department would not entertain rumours.

At least two sources said International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Marius Fransman was up for a promotion to a spot in Cabinet.

“Zuma wants to bring him back to the Western Cape to give the ANC some hope of opposition to the DA,” said a source close to the ANC.

A government official said Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti and Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale might go.

Sexwale recently launched his bid for the ANC presidency and Nkwinti, an Eastern Cape veteran leader, is seen as one of his lieutenants.

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