No cabinet reshuffle on Friday, Ramaphosa has not consulted top six: Jessie Duarte

ANC acting secretary-general Jessie Duarte says she is not aware of a cabinet shuffle about to happen. File photo.
ANC acting secretary-general Jessie Duarte says she is not aware of a cabinet shuffle about to happen. File photo.

The ANC's top brass has poured cold water on speculation over a possible cabinet reshuffle on Friday, amid calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to axe some ministers to restore the nation’s trust.  

The calls followed recent unrest in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, and seemingly contradictory statements by security cluster ministers — police minister Bheki Cele‚ defence and military veterans minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo.

Acting secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the president had not consulted the top six  on the issue.

“Yes, the president does consult. No, he has not called us [the top six] for such a consultation as yet. When he does call us for such, we will go and hear what his plans are, but at this moment I am not being told that I should be making my way anywhere,” she said.

Ramaphosa told journalists last week he was considering a possible reconfiguration of his cabinet.  

“The issue of reconfiguring a cabinet is an ongoing consideration by any president. You look at how you deploy the people, who you are working with and how you place those people to execute various tasks, so it is an ongoing process of evaluation and all that. So it's not something that we would say it’s a process that is outlandish, we continue to look at it,” he said.    

The Sunday Times reported that a major shake-up of the country's security cluster — including the axing of ministers — was on the cards after the government's poor handling of the recent riots that saw 330 lives being lost and caused R50bn in damages to property and infrastructure.    

Duarte suggested that talk of a cabinet reshuffle on Friday may not be true.

“I think this idea that there will be a reshuffle on Friday comes from an SMS that was put out in the media. If I know something I will tell you,” she said.

“The ANC has not discussed calls for the reshuffling, we have not discussed any calls for the security cluster to be discussed in the ANC. If this is being discussed by individuals, I really cannot answer on that — except to say that formally, the national working committee did not have such a discussion, neither did officials have such a discussion on Monday when they met.”


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