Bongani Bongo sworn in as state security minister

2017-10-18 19:04
President Jacob Zuma with freshly sworn in minister of state security Bongani Bongo. (Jan Gerber, News24)

President Jacob Zuma with freshly sworn in minister of state security Bongani Bongo. (Jan Gerber, News24)

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Cape Town – Freshly sworn in Minister of State Security Bongani Bongo wants to assure South Africans that he will provide the leadership required by legislation.

At 15:38 on Wednesday afternoon Bongo entered a boardroom at Tuynhuys, the presidents Cape Town office, still a minister-designate, shortly followed by the man who appointed him to his Cabinet, President Jacob Zuma.

Cape Judge President John Hlophe was already seated, as was Bongo's mother Emily and his younger sister, Norma, with ANC MP Loyiso Mpumlwana and director-general of the Department of State Security Arthur Fraser.

Upon taking his seat at the head of the table, a seemingly jovial Zuma said he knows the media – "my great friends" – wants him to say all kinds of things, but he will only say what is required.

After clearing his throat and pursing his lips, Zuma said: "Let me start the formal thing."

Zuma read out that he appoints Bongo in terms of the Constitution as minister of state security and asked Hlophe to conduct the swearing-in ceremony.

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"I, Bongani Thomas Bongo, swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa," Bongo said as he began reading from the provided oath.

Once done, he raised his right hand and said: "So help me God."

'When's your next Cabinet reshuffle?'

He and Hlophe signed the document, after which Zuma got up from the table to shake hands with and embrace Bongo.

Zuma, Bongo and Hlophe posed for photos, after which Zuma and Bongo left.

"When's your next Cabinet reshuffle?" a journalist blurted out to Zuma.

"I'll reshuffle you," Zuma replied with a trademark chuckle.

Bongo briefly addressed the media.

"I would like to thank the president of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency President Zuma, and the African National Congress for the trust they bestowed [upon] me.

"And secondly, I want to assure the nation that I will provide the required leadership in terms of legislation and policy directive of the country as espoused in both the ANC resolutions and in the country's legislation in terms of attending to national security-related issues."

He said he is looking forward to joining his colleagues in the security cluster.

"I've just been sworn in now, the DG is here [and] I'm looking forward to be working with the team so that we move with serious speed in terms of ensuring that we meet the targets the government has set us to deal with in the medium term. Thank you very much," he concluded.

Read more on:    bongani bongo  |  jacob zuma

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