Zuma repositions himself ahead of 2014

2013-07-09 17:42
Jacob Zuma (Picture: GCIS)

Jacob Zuma (Picture: GCIS)

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Pretoria –  With less than a year to go to the 2014 elections, President Jacob Zuma has axed tainted allies and ousted Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale.

Sexwale, a long-time big-hitter in the ANC, was said to be part of the “Forces of Change” which resisted Zuma's re-election as ANC president at the elective conference in Mangaung last year.

Sexwale has long been tipped as a potential leader of the party. He was replaced by ANC MP Connie September.

"Twenty years of democracy have changed the face of our country, and the last five years have pushed that change forward," Zuma said.

He thanked Sexwale and embattled Communication Minister Dina Pule and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi who also lost their jobs.

Pule was replaced by Co-operative Governance Deputy Minister Yunus Carrim.

She has been embroiled in a battle with the Sunday Times about reports on allegations of corruption.

At a media briefing in April, she alleged that the Sunday Times was staging a smear and blackmail campaign against her.

In the newspaper's reports, she was accused of giving tenders to a boyfriend, meddling in tender processes, and interfering in the appointment of officials to the boards of state-owned enterprises.

Baloyi, who has been an MP since 1999, was replaced by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Lechesa Tsenoli

Meanwhile, the ministers of energy and transport traded portfolios.

After just a year as transport minister, Ben Martins becomes the new energy minister, swapping portfolios with Dipuo Peters.

But the biggest surprise may have been the ministers who survived.

Labour unrest had put Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson under fire.

The deaths of 15 South African troops in the Central African Republic (CAR) had raised speculation about Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Ncgakula's position.

A leadership position within the ANC Women's League appears to have been enough to save Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, despite a scandal that left kids in one province without textbooks for a year.

Deputy ministers

Zuma also announced the appointments of four new deputy ministers.

According to Sapa ANC MP John Jeffrey was appointed as deputy minister of justice, taking over from Andries Nel, who takes up the position of deputy minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs.

Another ANC MP Michael Masutha was appointed deputy minister of science and technology, a position that was vacated last year, with the appointment of Derek Hanekom as minister of science and technology.

Hanekom replaced Naledi Pandor, who was made home affairs minister, following the appointment of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as African Union commission chair.

MP Pamela Tshwete was appointed deputy minister of rural development, following Carrim's appointment as communication minister.

Zuma said the new ministers and deputies would be sworn in on Wednesday.

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