There are strong indications that President Zuma will soon make good on his promise to dismiss some ministers who protested against his continuous stay in office last year.
Some senior leaders of the ruling African National Congress, who pleaded anonymity, told reporters on Friday that Zuma is considering dismissing some ministers, who contravened ANC tradition by asking him to step down.
The informants disclosed that the president made his intention known this week at the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC). The meeting was organized to discuss ways to boost the economy, improve access to land and contain rising public impatience with the government.
Without a doubt, if the ANC leaders’ claim is anything to go by, then these crop of President Zuma’s critics would be the first to be thrown off the boat. Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi.
Hanekom instigated and spearheaded the fight against Zuma’s headship. He even proposed a motion of no confidence in Zuma to the National Executive Committee at ANC NEC meeting on November 26. The NEC is made up of more than 80 voting members.
Ministers Aaron Motsoaledi and Thulas Nxesi hurriedly supported Hanekom after he made the heated and controversial proposal.
Again, reliable reports from the ANC and COPE indicated that President Zuma is likely to reshuffle his cabinet any moment from now. While BuzzSouthAfrica is not certain about the main target of the reshuffle, news making the rounds had it that the main target would be Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, with whom Zuma had crossed swords over several thorny issues since last year.
If that happens, Gordhan’s removal could do more harm than good to South Africa’s dwindling economy and could possibly replicate the market reaction in December 2015 when Zuma fired respected finance minister Nhlanhla Nene and replaced him with a little-known lawmaker before appointing Gordhan four days later after pressure from party officials and businessmen.
Zuma’s ex-spouse, Dlamini-Zuma has been tipped as a prospective office holder once the reshuffle takes place. Opposition parties alleged said Zuma has been planning to effect the change once Dlamini-Zuma’s tenure as AU chairperson ends.
The move, as gathered, would bolster her profile and chances of replacing Zuma as leader of the ANC at a conference in December.
The Zuma-led administration had severally reassured the country of its total commitment towards fighting poverty and reducing a 27% unemployment rate. But the horrible state of affairs keeps jumping from frying pan to fire. For instance, the Rand recently slid more than 1.4% against the dollar, reaching as low as R13.5467/$ by 14:55 in Johannesburg.