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Cosatu and SACP in the loop on Cyril Ramaphosa's reshuffle

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande and President Cyril Ramaphosa.
SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's imminent cabinet reshuffled was discussed with Cosatu and the SACP, in a bid to avoid being on a collision course with the ANC’s alliance partners.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s imminent cabinet reshuffle was discussed with Cosatu and the SACP - in a bid to avoid setting the ANC on a collision course with its alliance partners.

TimesLIVE understands that Ramaphosa met with the leadership of Cosatu and the SACP on Tuesday to discuss his upcoming reshuffle and get their approval. 

He met Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi as well as general seceretary Bheki Ntshalintshali at his house in Johannesburg.

Losi confirmed that she met the president who took them into his confidence about the changes he would make to his executive.

“We discussed it and shared ideas,” she said, adding that Cosatu would comment after the announcement.

The presidency said Ramaphosa would announce the changes to cabinet at 3pm on Thursday.

“These changes have been occasioned by the passing away in September 2018 of the minister of environmental affairs, Ms Edna Molewa, and the more recent resignation of the minister of home affairs, Mr Malusi Gigaba,” Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said in a statement.

The reshuffle would be Ramaphosa’s second since assuming office in February 2018.

Insiders close to the decision have described it as “not a big reshuffle” and “not as drastic as expected”.

Ramaphosa first discussed the reshuffle on November 3 with the ANC’s top leadership on the sidelines of a special ANC national executive committee meeting in Irene. 

It was agreed that Gigaba had to be removed while ANC officials disagreed with Ramaphosa’s assertion that minister in the presidency for women Bathabile Dlamini face the chop. 

Gigaba has since resigned from office.

From then on, different names were thrown around as to who should fill the two vacancies in cabinet. 

It is understood that Ramaphosa was advised not to shake up the entire executive as it may affect the party’s election prospects. 

Insiders said the matter was discussed unofficially on the sidelines of an ANC top leadership meeting on Monday at Nutting House in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. Ramaphosa was not present at this meeting but his deputy, David Mabuza, who heads the party’s deployment committee, was there. 

The president has until the end of the day to respond to the DA’s court bid to force him to remove Dlamini from office.

He has opposed the application but is expected to argue against the DA “on principle”.

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