Two political analysts are of the view that President Jacob Zuma may likely reshuffle the cabinet should the African National Congress lose in the local government elections scheduled to hold tomorrow.
The political analysts, Professor Andre Duvenhage and Elvis Masoga, both stated that the president might use the election outcome to determine how to relate with his cabinet.
According to Professor Andre Duvenhage, “the president knows how to fight back and I think he has put everything in place for his fightback, cabinet reshuffling might be the next thing he would do to re-balance his government ahead of the 2017 elections.
While Zuma has the security cluster close to him, I think there is also a likelihood that he might reshuffle his Cabinet again after the elections to re-balance things ahead of 2017.
And should that happen, he might remove the communists who have been openly speaking out against his government and also bring his loyalists, the so-called Premier League – comprising Supra Mahumapelo, Ace Magashule and David Mabuza – even closer to him,” said Duvenhage.
He said the ruling ANC may lose in Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Johannesburg metros will could translate into huge loss for the party.
“Yes, the ANC managed to pack the Ellis Park Stadium during their final Siyanqoba rally on Sunday, but that cannot be translated into the elections because such gatherings are not spontaneous. [They] are well organised because many people were bused in from outside Gauteng.
Similar to the words of Duvenhage about the election outcomes and how it would affect Zuma’s government, Elvis Masoga who said should the ANC lose the local government elections, president Jacob Zuma would fight back by removing all cabinet members who joined in criticizing his government.
“If that is the case, the name Zuma will dominate the ANC’s national executive committee meeting after the elections. “But having said that, I think the president will also fight back,” he said.
Masoga however had a different view on whether the ANC might lose the elections. He strongly pointed out that only a strong opposition party could dislodge the ruling party.
“Since 1994, the ANC seemed to have been defying public opinion surveys and the party has successfully projected the elections as a contest between black and white,” said Masoga.
“For instance, someone (a black person) might wake up one morning and decide that he is going to vote for the DA, but while he is in that voting booth, will start thinking about what his parents or grandparents went through before 1994 and decide that he doesn’t want to go back to apartheid … the political psychology of history is something that has been working for the ANC through the years.”
The political analysts believe that the local government elections might end up in violence. Masoga went ahead to single out Vuwani in Limpopo as a possible hot spot for electoral violence. He said the area was unpredictable and volatile. Several other political analysts share the view of Duvenhage and Masoga on Zuma’s cabinet reshuffling
Two Thousand Soldiers To Maintain Law and Order
Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma has deployed two thousand soldiers to help secure tomorrow’s elections, giving them a mandate to remain on the ground for a week after the polls.
Zuma said the 2,000 soldiers will help maintain law and order while citizens go out for election, he urged all South Africans to vote in the local government elections, which he believes will be a “resounding success”.
The president went on to assure the nation a free and safe election, describing it as a precious right and a key celebration of the country’s hard-won freedom.