Why Ramaphosa Kept Dlamini And Mokonyane

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (C), former minister and chairwoman of the African Union Commission, poses for a photograph next to African National Congress (ANC) member Bathabile Dlamini (L) and Nomvula Mokonyane during the Congress' 106th anniversary celebrations, in East London, South Africa, January 13, 2018. PICTURE: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG: President Cyril Ramaphosa effected his second cabinet reshuffled on Thursday afternoon following two vacant posts. 

Ramaphosa announced that Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams will head the merged ministries of communication and telecommunication and telecommunication and postal services.

Dr. Siyabonga Cwele will replace Malusi Gigaba as the Home Affairs minister, while Nomvula Mokonyane will replace the late Edna Molewa at the Environmental Affairs department.

However, Ramaphosa has come under fire for failing to remove the Minister in the Presidency, responsible for women Bathabile Dlamini and former Minister of Communications Nomvula Mokonyane. 

According to Political Economy Analyst Daniel Silke, “Ramaphosa misses an opportunity to further peel away the layers of the Zuma years in his tepid but was always unlikely to do anything dramatic until post-election. Still, this was an opportunity lost.”

However, for Molifi Tshabalala, an Independent Political Analyst, “in recent years, the public at large has developed a great deal of interest in cabinet constitution, thanks to former President Jacob Zuma, who, in comparison to his predecessors, reshuffle his cabinet nearly every year”.

“The public at large demands a great deal of accountability and both ethical and moral leadership,” he said. 

Further, Tshabalala believes that “the public is passively part of intra-ANC degenerative factionalism. In the public domain, the Ramaphosa faction is more dominant and considered to possesses both high ethical and moral grounds”.

“In reshuffling his cabinet, Ramaphosa had to satisfy his main faction (i.e. the public) on one hand and not upset the Zuma faction on one hand. He cannot easily fire Bathabile Dlamini and Nomvula Mokonyane,” he said.

“In fact, it is important for the President to keep the cabinet unchanged until post the 2019 general elections, provided that the ANC wins by an outright majority. He may be forced to change it now and then,” Tshabalala concluded.