DA warns of apartheid-era ministry

Cape Town –  President Jacob Zuma's appointment of ex-spy chief Siyabonga Cwele as minister of telecommunications and postal services, could soon see the rebirth of an apartheid-era information ministry, the DA said on Monday.

The new Cabinet, announced on Sunday, has been sworn in in a marathon ceremony at the Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.

But what was supposed to be a new wave of fresh faces for government, may be its downfall, according to the DA.

MP Marian Shinn MP described Zuma’s deployment of Cwele as a "chilling" move.

“This is the very same minister who spear-headed the introduction of the controversial ‘secrecy bill’ and went to great lengths to cover up the Nkandla scandal," she said.

Zuma also announced the splitting of the department of communications into two ministries.

Shinn said: “The re-emergence of a department of telecommunications and postal services, not only takes South Africa back to the 1980s but with Siyabonga Cwele in charge, indicates government's intention to control the internet, its various platforms and electronic surveillance.”

The DA was also concerned by the fact that Yunus Carrim was excluded from this portfolio and the Cabinet.

“The DA will not stand by while the ghost of Connie Mulder, the apartheid government’s information minister, makes a comeback 20 years into our democracy,” Shinn said.

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