Zuma ‘house cleaning’ not a sign of cabinet reshuffle

2013-06-10 00:00

WHILE President Jacob Zuma is quietly getting rid of his political enemies there is little chance of a cabinet reshuffle this close to next year’s national elections.

This was the opinion of political analysts yesterday after the ANC denied allegations that Zuma was busy removing his opponents from political influence in the party. The allegations started about two months ago, when Limpopo, which led the battle to have Zuma replaced as ANC leader by deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, saw its premier Cassel Mathale released from his post as ANC chair and the provincial committee disbanded. The ANC youth league, which openly supported Motlanthe, also saw its national leadership disbanded.

Motlanthe’s main supporters, like Tokyo Sexwale, Mathews Phosa, Paul Mashatile and Fikile Mbalula, have all disappeared from the limelight, while the future of Cosatu’s general secretary and outspoken ANC critic Zwelinzima Vavi is hanging in the balance.

Professor André Duvenhage, political analyst at the North West University, said Zuma was without doubt busy with a “house-cleaning process”. He listed Kgalema Motlanthe as being totally marginalised, while the profiles of Sexwale and Phosa were very low. But Duvenhage said a cabinet reshuffle just 10 months ahead of a national election is unlikely.

Wits University political analyst Professor Adam Habib said it would be a big risk to shuffle the cabinet, but Zuma was clearly busy consolidating his support in the party.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said reports that Zuma was getting rid of his enemies were an attempt to sow division in the party.

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