Pahad confirms Presidency’s prank

2015-04-01 14:55
President Jacob Zuma (File)

President Jacob Zuma (File)

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Pretoria - Former minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad has confirmed that a statement from the presidency on new Cabinet appointments was indeed an April Fool’s Day prank.

“It’s the 1st of April today. It’s April Fool’s day and I am very pleased to see that [presidential spokesperson] Mac Maharaj still has a great sense of humour.”

A media release sent out by the Presidency after midday stated that former minister in the presidency, Essop Pahad, who held that position from 1999 to 2008, has been appointed as the new minister in the presidency responsible for public participation and interface.

Former minister of defence, Charles Nqakula, was appointed as minister of roads and traffic affairs, and ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa was appointed deputy minister for social cohesion and nation-building.

News24 sent Maharaj an SMS after the statement came out asking: "We just want to confirm the new Cabinet announcements statement... is the statement accurate?"

Maharaj responded: "The new appointees have been informed and can be contacted for further confirmation."

Finance Minister Nhlanha Nene was asked about the official presidency statement at an earlier briefing in Pretoria and responded: "I didn't know about that announcement, since I spent my night here at Sars [SA Revenue Service] and my morning. The appointment of Cabinet ministers is purely the prerogative of the president."

He joked that hoped he was still a minister.

When the same reporter mentioned later that it seemed the Presidency had a sense of humour, Nene laughed.

The statement caused a frenzy on social media, with news organisations and journalists questioning whether it was a joke.

The confusion surrounding the bogus Cabinet appointees also comes just a few weeks after the death of Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane. Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa was appointed acting public service minister.  

Read more on:    mac maharaj  |  nhlanha nene  |  zizi kodwa  |  jacob zuma  |  charles nqakula  |  essop pahad  |  media

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