IT IS an established government practice that when ministers are appointed to new portfolios they bring their own loyal staff members with them.
It is also well known that each minister brings with him or her a new working culture in the department.
It has become evident in the past 18 years of our democracy that ministers tend to develop different relationships with directors-general - ranging from the literally intimate to the cat-and-mouse type.
There is ample evidence about the acrimony that has developed between ministers and many of their directors-general, especially those they didn't appoint.
In many cases this has threatened sound governance and service delivery.
It has become apparent that DGs are increasingly becoming political appointees.
Some could hardly qualify as assistant directors if they were subjected to the correct appointment procedures.
Now, with this in mind, what are we to make of President Jacob Zuma's sudden reshuffling of ministers?
Firstly, now that several ministers and deputy ministers have been moved around, they will be followed by bureaucrats loyal to them. So, a cabinet reshuffle necessarily means a bureaucratic reshuffle. This leads to instability in the bureaucracy.
Secondly, reshuffling cabinet three times in two years before the end of the term results in instability of the whole government. Instead of focusing on their work, ministers are now waiting to be moved around by the president.
Although the president is entitled to reshuffle his cabinet a billion times - the constitution places restrictions - it does not mean that he is entitled to create a government obsessed with nothing else but reshuffles.
Thirdly, it gives the impression that contradicts what Zuma said recently: that he knows what he is doing.
Fourthly, there is very little - if any - sense in the latest cabinet reshuffle. Shifting ministers around instead of firing those you think are failing to serve South African citizens gives no indication that the process was well-thought-out.
Lastly, and more worrying, this may not be the last reshuffle in Zuma's term.
After Mangaung he could still make changes to reflect the outcome of the ANC's electoral conference.
Polokwane set the precedent. There are bound to be changes in both the cabinet and in the bureaucracy after Mangaung.
Zuma is building a strange legacy: he created the biggest cabinet and he goes on to make record reshuffles.