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Who’s who in Ramaphosa’s cabinet reshuffling.



South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa reshuffled his cabinet on Monday after coming to power two weeks ago when scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma resigned under pressure from the ruling African National Congress.

Below are details of some key ministers:

David Mabuza – Deputy President

ANC deputy president David Mabuza is the new Deputy President of South Africa and premier of Mpumalanga province. He has not served as a cabinet minister before.


Mabuza was an ally of Zuma and was accused of involvement in corruption in awarding tenders. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Mabuza’s influence in Mpumalanga will be significant for Ramaphosa and the ANC in next year’s parliamentary election.

Nhlanhla Nene – Finance minister

Nhlanhla Nene served as finance minister from May 2014 until December 2015, when Zuma fired him and replaced him with unknown parliamentary backbencher Des van Rooyen.

A collapse in the rand currency forced Zuma to sack van Rooyen and reappoint a previous finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, just four days later.

Nene, a veteran civil servant who was keen to rein in government spending, had been reluctant to rubber-stamp an ambitious plan to build a number of nuclear power stations, a project that might cost as much as $100 billion and one which Ramaphosa has frankly said South African cannot afford.

Nene has since taken up roles in the private sector including as a board member at fund manager Allan Gray, resident advisor at investment firm Thebe Investment Corporation and as acting head of a business school in Johannesburg.

Pravin Gordhan – Public Enterprises Minister

A popular figure with investors, Gordhan served as Minister of Finance from 2009 until 2014 and again from 2015 until 2017.

Gordhan has been a critic of the corruption that dogged Zuma’s term and there will be high expectations for him to clean up state-owned firms. His combative style can be divisive.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – Minister in the Presidency

The former minister and chairwoman of the African Union Commission narrowly lost to Ramaphosa in an ANC leadership election in December and she would have hoped to be naming her own cabinet at this stage.

Dlamini-Zuma was married to former president Zuma for over a decade and has four children with him.

Lindiwe Sisulu – Foreign Affairs minister

Sisulu initially ran against Ramaphosa in the ANC leadership race last year but later withdrew, choosing to pursue the deputy position, which she lost to David Mabuza.

Most recently serving as human settlements minister, Sisulu is the daughter of anti-apartheid activist Walter Sisulu, a close friend of Nelson Mandela.

While in exile during apartheid, Sisulu joined the military wing of the ANC, working in intelligence.

Gwede Mantashe – Mineral Resources minister

Trade unionist Mantashe, 62, is currently the national chairperson of the ANC and former secretary-general of the party, a position he held for 10 years.

The shrewd party strategist was the first trade unionist appointed to the board of directors of a company listed on Johannesburg’s stock exchange.

Jeff Radebe – Energy minister

Radebe is one of the longest-serving ministers in post apartheid South Africa, having held several senior cabinet positions including as minister of public enterprises, justice and transport.

He served in underground structures of the ANC during white minority rule and was imprisoned on Robben Island, where the apartheid government kept political prisoners.

Malusi Gigaba – Home Affairs minister

Gigaba returns to the home affairs ministry after having served as finance minister since being appointed by Zuma in March last year. He delivered the budget last week.

Gigaba has previously served as Minister of Public Enterprises.

A South African court found last year that Gigaba had violated the constitution by lying about a dispute with a company during his time at home affairs. Gigaba has said he will challenge the ruling.

Zweli Mkhize – Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister

The ANC’s former treasurer general was an outsider in the party’s leadership race won by Ramaphosa in December.

A medical doctor by training, Mkhize also served as a party boss in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province, from where Zuma and Dlamini-Zuma hail.

Ramaphosa will be relying on Mkhize to reconcile opposing factions in the ANC, analysts say.

Naledi Pandor – Higher Education and Training minister

A former teacher and veteran minister, Pandor comes from a long line of political activists in Kwa-Zulu Natal, a key province for the ANC and one where Ramaphosa needs allies.

Largely praised for her personal integrity, Pandor has criticised ANC politicians for their lavish lifestyles.

Derek Hanekom – Tourism minister

A white Afrikaner, Hanekom has served as a minister under every president since the end of white-minority rule, including as minister of land under Nelson Mandela.

Hanekom was one of the most vocal critics of Zuma and was sacked as tourism minister last year after publicly calling for his removal.

In his speech announcing the changes to the cabinet, Ramaphosa told South Africans that the ministers he has appointed are tasked to ‘ensure that government is better equipped to implement the tasks identified in the State of the Nation Address’.


Motherland News

Nigeria General Elections postponement not politically influenced – INEC



Nigeria’s electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cleared the air, saying its decision to postpone the general elections a few hours to the commencement was not politically influenced.

INEC chairman Mahmoud Yakubu said at a press conference that “The decision has nothing to do with security, nothing to do with political influence and nothing to do with lack of resources.”

The postponement heightens the political tensions in the country, especially between the ruling All Progressives Congress and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party.


The parties have accused INEC of kowtowing down to the political influence exerted by either party to postpone the elections which ought to begin the presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, February 16 2019.

PDP and APC faulted INEC’s decision to reschedule the presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on February 23 while the governorship and state houses of assembly elections will take place on March 9.


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Motherland News

Nigeria: Reactions trail INEC Postponement of 2019 General Elections



Reactions have trailed the decision of The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to postpone the Presidential and National Assembly elections earlier slated for today by a week, citing operational difficulties.

Prior to the postponement of the election, the PDP accused INEC of hoarding the presidential and senatorial elections result sheets for undisclosed reasons.

The party also revealed that its monitoring and intelligence showed that INEC had been distributing sensitive election materials in most states of the federation without the Presidential and Senatorial elections results sheets.

The National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement said that the party’s agents were being denied the INEC accreditation and identification cards, ostensibly to shut them out of the election monitoring process and allow the APC a field day to manipulate the process.

According to him, “The development is already heightening tension and suspicion of underhand method by the commission to open the elections for manipulations and allow the APC to enter fictitious results for onward transmission to collation centres.”

The PDP also rejected alleged substitution of the already trained INEC adhoc staff in various states of the federation with members of the APC.

The party said that PDP would never allow “this unscrupulous attempt at power hijack to stand.”

He stated, “This surreptitious ploy to use APC members as polling staff is a direct template by the APC in collusion with some INEC officials, to rig the elections for the APC.

“This affront to the collective quest by the people for a credible election is akin to sitting our nation on a keg of gunpowder.”

A renowned political analyst in Lagos state, Isaac Abiola on his part expressed displeasure at the postponement, citing the electoral body’s insincerity the worrisome part.

Mr Abiola said “I am disappointed with INEC. It is obvious that they are not sincere with us. INEC till 11:30pm yesterday claimed to have been ready and even tweeted that their situation room was ready. It is not a must to conduct elections when you are not fully ready. But the decision to postponed should have been reached and announced at least 24hrs before election. Why announce 2:30am when people were sleeping. I feel there is an arrangement somewhere.”


Also Reacting to the postponement, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ahmed Raji, noted that if the postponement was towards achieving a credible, free and acceptable election, it is in order. According to him, if the reason for the postponment is actually on logistics as it is being said, it is okay instead of the Commission to go ahead and conduct an election that would put it to ridicule both locally and internationally.

Raji, while stating that it is high time Nigerians begin to see election as a process, observed that budgetary allocation for the elections came a little bit late.

According to him election materials are not things people just pick from the shop, hence the commission needs adequate time to plan and arrange for some of this materials.


On the ruling party’s side, Arc Waziri Bulama, the deputy director general of APC presidential campaign council disclosed the party’s readiness for the forthcoming general elections dismissing claims that the APC was looking for a postponement of the polls. Bulama who disclosed this on Wednesday, February 13, stated that the council had carried its campaign all over the country. He said the responsibilities of leaders was to deliver good governance, secure the lives of Nigerians, ensure that they promote justice, rule of law, peace and freedom through their actions.

Meanwhile, the opposition People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar said the postponement of the general election by Independent National Electoral Commission is “obviously a case of the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob.”

“The Buhari administration has had more than enough time and money to prepare for these elections and the Nigerian people were poised and ready to perform their civic responsibility by voting in the elections earlier scheduled for Saturday, 16 February, 2019,” Atiku said in a stateemnt on Saturday.

“By instigating this postponement, the Buhari administration hopes to disenfranchise the Nigerian electorate in order to ensure that turn out is low on the rescheduled date,” he added.

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