Will Ramaphosa reshuffle his Cabinet? Now that Ramaphosa has been sworn in as the fifth president of democratic South Africa, speculation is rife that he will fire some ministers aligned to former president Jacob Zuma.
South Africa will have a new President today...and hopefully a new cabinet soon! Good day President Ramaphosa! 🇿🇦— Thabi Leoka (@thabileoka) February 15, 2018
Ramaphosa will deliver the state of the nation address (Sona) on Friday afternoon.
Many believe he will not keep Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba in his Cabinet. Chief economist at Pan African Investment and Research, Iraj Abedian, told IOL that Gigaba's alleged involvement in state capture meant it would be difficult for Ramaphosa to keep him on.
Anders Faergemann, portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments in London agreed. "Everyone will look for Ramaphosa to build a strong cabinet and get rid of the Zuma factions. The next step will be who will replace Gigaba as the new finance minister."
Political analyst Ralph Matshekga told TimesLive that it would not be wise to get rid of Zuma's supporters entirely, and said Ramaphosa would be wise not to bring in the old guard like Trevor Manuel.
"He will, therefore, need a compromised Cabinet to accommodate all. He may want to get rid of Gigaba but he cannot, for example, hire [former finance minister Pravin] Gordhan. This is because Gordhan is on the far extreme of the anti-Zuma camp and Ramaphosa is trying to achieve unity. Unity is about not reinstating some of the extreme sides of the [divide]. If you want unity‚ you need to find moderates in between the camps – people who will be respected on either side‚" said Mathekga.
Other ministers on the line are Lynne Brown, Mosenenzi Zwane and Bathabile Dlamini, according to Business Day. Brown has presided over the decline at several state-owned enterprises, as well as state-capture efforts there, while Zwane is heavily implicated in state capture. Dlamini could be axed because of her handling of the social-grants crisis.
There is also speculation that Lindiwe Sisulu could become Ramaphosa's deputy, according to Eyewitness News (EWN). Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is also among the names being circulated as possible deputy presidents, as Ramaphosa may want to bring Zuma loyalists into the fold for the sake of unity.
Former University of the Free State vice-chancellor Jonathan Jansen joined calls for Ramaphosa to reduce the size of the Cabinet on Twitter.
Dear President Ramaphosa, you would send all the right signals to society if you reduced the Cabinet by half the current number— Jonathan Jansen (@JJ_Stellies) February 14, 2018
I'd be willing to bet that Cyril Ramaphosa had his Cabinet – along with far fewer ministries – finalised at least two months ago. (Perhaps some last minute manoeuvring, because DD.)— Hilton Tarrant (@hiltontarrant) February 15, 2018
Former ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize joined Ramaphosa in addressing the ANC's caucus in Parliament this week, leading to speculation that he might be on his way into Cabinet.