President Cyril Ramaphosa announces the composition of the cabinet at the Union Buildings on May 29 2019 in Pretoria. Picture: AFP/PHILL MAGAKOE
President Cyril Ramaphosa announces the composition of the cabinet at the Union Buildings on May 29 2019 in Pretoria. Picture: AFP/PHILL MAGAKOE

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his new cabinet at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday night; the executive has been cut to 28 ministries and a number of portfolios have been merged.

Here are the new cabinet members:

David Mabuza, 58, deputy president

David Mabuza. Picture: GCIS
David Mabuza. Picture: GCIS

David Mabuza, a long-time ANC Mpumalanga chair, ascended to the second highest office in the party in December 2017 when he was elected deputy president.

Before the Nasrec conference, Mabuza played both sides of the race for the presidency of the party, refusing to openly throw his weight behind Cyril Ramaphosa or Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

However, on the eve of conference Mabuza appeared at the Dlamini-Zuma caucus and was said to have told delegates from his province to give their vote to the former AU commission chair.

As provincial chair, he ran his provincial ANC structures with an iron fist.

He served as Mpumalanga premier since 2009 until 2017 and was a member of the provincial legislature since 1994.

Mabuza was one of the people who were flagged by the ANC integrity commission, which led to his swearing-in as an MP being postponed, to allow time to clear his name. He met the integrity commission at the weekend and was said to be cleared of any wrongdoing.

He was sworn-in as a MP the day before Ramaphosa announced his cabinet.

Thoko Didiza, 53, agriculture, land reform and rural development

Thoko Didiza, left. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Thoko Didiza, left. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

In the last administration, Thoko Didiza served as the house chair in the National Assembly.

During the local government elections in 2016 her nomination by the ANC as mayoral candidate for Tshwane sparked a wave of protests by locals in the municipality who rejected her, questioning her credentials.

Didiza has served in cabinet before as one of the youngest ministers appointed by former president Thabo Mbeki. She led the agriculture and land affairs, and the public works portfolios. She demonstrated her loyalty to Mbeki when she resigned along with other ministers when he was recalled from office by the ANC in September 2008. She has also been the chair of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians for the African region.

Angie Motshekga, 63, basic education minister

Angie Motshekga. Picture: GCIS
Angie Motshekga. Picture: GCIS

Angie Motshekga, is a long-serving cabinet minister, who has been basic education minister for a decade.

She is also the former president of the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL). She lost the position to Bathabile Dlamini in 2015 at the league’s last conference.

She was once a staunch Zuma supporter and criticised as ANCWL president for failing to push for a female president. In 2013 she was quoted saying the ANC was not ready for a female president, however, she later said that she had been misunderstood.

In 2012, there were calls for Motshekga to resign as minister over the Limpopo textbook saga.

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, 41, communications minister

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Picture: GCIS
Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Picture: GCIS

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, who hails from the Eastern Cape, is one of the young up-and-coming politicians in the ANC.

She was appointed as minister of the merged departments of communications and telecommunications and postal services in 2018.

The merger was the first sign of Ramaphosa’s reconfigured cabinet.

She previously served as deputy minister in both departments when they were still separated.

Ndabeni-Abrahams served in various positions in the structures of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) and is a member of the Eastern Cape provincial executive committee (PEC).

She has been a member of parliament since 2009.

Ndabeni-Abrahams was a supporter of Ramaphosa’s candidature as ANC president in the run-up to the ANC’s elective conference in December 2017.

She controversially got into an altercation in 2019 with a SABC reporter at the ANC’s manifesto launch in the Eastern Cape. She reportedly blocked journalists from covering a protesting crowd. She has since apologised for the incident.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, 70, co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI

Dlamini-Zuma has a long career in government. She also campaigned to become ANC president in 2017, narrowly losing to Ramaphosa. Her campaign for party president was led by dubious and opportunistic characters, aligned to Zuma, her former husband, advocating a message of defeating white monopoly capitalism.

She has been a cabinet minister since 1994 and held cabinet positions in health, foreign affairs, home affairs and most recently in the presidency. She also served as AU commission chair from 2012 to 2017.

Dlamini-Zuma, is medical doctor by training. She re-entered the government in February 2018 when Ramaphosa appointed her as minister in the presidency, responsible for the national planning commission.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, 62, defence and military veterans minister

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has served as minister of defence and military veterans since 2012. 

The former ANCWL president, who underwent military training in Angola and the Soviet Union in the 1980s, has executive experience even before she was appointed to this position.

Mapisa-Nqakula served as deputy minister of home affairs from May 2002 to April 2004, and then as minister of home affairs from 2004 to 2009. She was then appointed as minister of correctional services from May 2009 to June 2012.

She has also served as chair of the top-secret joint standing committee of intelligence. She was a founding member of the East London Domestic Workers Association in 1982 and served as assistant director of Masazane Open School (a project of the SA Institute of Race Relations) from 1982 to 1984.

Barbara Creecy, 60, environment, forestry and fisheries minister


Barbara Creecy, who hails from Johannesburg, is the former MEC of finance in Gauteng.

She is widely respected and was one of the longest-serving members of the Gauteng provincial legislature; she was appointed as an MEC for the first time in 2004.

Creecy made the move to parliament only in 2019 and was sworn in as an MP following the 2019 general elections.

In the Gauteng provincial government she has also served as MEC of sports, recreation, arts and culture, and later education, where she pioneered a turnaround strategy to improve the matric performance of 400 underperforming township schools.

She was elected as a member of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) in December 2017.

Creecy’s political career started when she joined the anti-apartheid movement and later the ANC’s underground structures as a student at Wits University in the late 1970s. She was also a part of the United Democratic Front (UDF).

Thulas Nxesi, 60, employment and labour minister

Thulas Nxesi. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Thulas Nxesi. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Thulus Nxesi has been a member of the executive since 2011 when Zuma appointed him public works minister.

He was one of the ministers who originally tried to defend the expensive security upgrades made to Zuma’s Nkandla homestead. Nxesi was also one of the ministers Zuma was ordered to reprimand, after the Constitutional Court judgment in that matter.

In 2017, during a cabinet reshuffle, Nxesi was moved to the sports ministry. In February 2018, when Ramaphosa took over as president, he moved Nxesi back to public works.

Patricia de Lille, 68, public works and infrastructure

Patricia de Lille. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Patricia de Lille. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

Patricial de Lille is a widely beloved political chameleon who has found a political home in more than one party.

She has her political roots in the Pan Africanist Congress, but later formed her own party, the Independent Democrats (ID). The ID eventually merged with the DA and De Lille was the party’s mayor of Cape Town from 2011 to 2018.

Her resignation as mayor was the culmination of a protracted battle with the party, which had attempted many times to axe her. She eventually left the DA.

Her resignation paved the way for her to form her own party named GOOD, which was the first split from the official opposition party.

GOOD received two seats in the National Assembly following the 2019 national elections.

She is widely seen as a corruption buster, who was most prominently the whistle-blower in the multibillion-rand arms deal. De Lille is one of the state’s witnesses in Zuma’s criminal trial.

Tito Mboweni, 60, finance minister

Tito Mboweni. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Tito Mboweni. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

Mboweni, was the SA Reserve Bank’s first black governor and led it for a decade until 2009, succeeding Chris Stals. Under his leadership, SA’s foreign exchange reserves quadrupled.

Mboweni served as a labour minister in 1994. Three years later, he became head of the ANC’s policy process.

He is a founding member of Mboweni Brothers Investment Holdings, and was an international adviser of Goldman Sachs International. He also served as chair of AngloGold Ashanti.

Mboweni was removed as a nonexecutive director of the Brics New Development Bank after serving a two-year term in 2017, hinting on Facebook at the time that he had been fired.

He was appointed as finance minister in October 2018 by Ramaphosa, after the resignation of Nhlanhla Nene. 

David Masondo, 44, finance deputy minister

David Masondo. Picture: SOWETAN
David Masondo. Picture: SOWETAN

Limpopo-born David Masondo is head of the ANC’s political school, the OR Tambo Leadership Academy.

Masondo has a PhD from New York University and was a lecturer in political economy at the University of the Witwatersrand.

He has been CEO of the Gauteng Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) and a former finance MEC of Limpopo.  

In December 2011, during his time as MEC, some of the Limpopo province's departments, including treasury, were placed under administration. He has been described in a newspaper report as someone with the reputation of “one man think tank”. 

Masondo was elected to the ANC’s NEC in December in Nasrec and opened the discussions on Zuma’s recall in the first regular meeting of the NEC in 2018. 

In his younger days Masondo was chair of the Young Communist League (YCL), where he spoke out against charging Julius Malema and other leaders in the ANCYL. He was also supportive in the formative stages of Malema’s party the EFF.

Zweli Mkhize, 63, health minister

Zweli Mkhize. Picture: MASI LOSI
Zweli Mkhize. Picture: MASI LOSI

Zweli Mkhize is a trained medical doctor and has been around the political block.

He is the ANC’s former treasurer-general, who initially threw his name into the hat for to become the ANC’s deputy president, but declined the nomination at the party’s elective conference in Nasrec in December 2017.

He was the longest-serving health MEC in KwaZulu-Natal, holding the position from 1994 to 2004. After that he served as finance and economic development MEC from 2004 to 2009.

He then moved up the ranks, later serving as premier of KwaZulu-Natal from 2009 to 2014. Mkhize was first appointed to cabinet in February 2018 following Ramaphosa’s first cabinet reshuffle.

Mkhize was appointed as minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, within one of his greatest tasks to analyse the state of SA’s crumbling municipalities and then to start rolling out measures to stabilise the most dysfunctional of them.

Mkhize, who is also known by his clan name of Khabazela, enjoys respect from traditional leaders, which is key in the portfolio. He has also been drawn into allegations of corruption in the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), but has denied the claims.

Blade Nzimande, 61, higher education, science and technology minister

Blade Nzimande. Picture: GCIS
Blade Nzimande. Picture: GCIS

Blade Nzimande is the long-serving general secretary of the SA Communist Party (SACP). He was fired as minister of higher education and training by former president Jacob Zuma in 2017, after the SACP, under his leadership, led the charge for scandal-plagued Zuma to resign.

He supported Ramaphosa to take over as ANC leader in December 2017, and was subsequently appointed transport minister when Ramaphosa ascended to the Union Buildings in 2018.

An erstwhile Zuma ally, Nzimande once called for a law protecting Zuma against insults, and characterised SA’s media as posing a threat to democracy, arguing that journalists were always looking for bad news about of the ANC and its alliance partners. 

Aaron Motsoaledi, 60, home affairs minister

Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

Long-serving health minister Aaron Motsoaledi has been in his position since 2009, surviving the numerous cabinet reshuffles endured under Zuma’s reign.

He has been one of the main drivers of the National Health Insurance (NHI), and is a doctor by profession.

He is one of three cabinet ministers who reportedly stood up in 2016 and urged Zuma to resign, he also publicly supported former finance minister Pravin Gordhan when he was charged by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). These charges were subsequently withdrawn.

In 2016, when it emerged that 36 psychiatric patients in Gauteng were moved to NGOs after the cancellation of a contract with Life Esidimeni, Motsoaledi asked the health ombudsman to step in and investigate the matter.

At the conclusion of an inquiry into these deaths, Motsoaledi broke down weeping as he apologised at the inquiry to the families and loved ones of the approximately 144 people who had died. 

Lindiwe Sisulu, 65, human settlements, water and sanitation minister

Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: SOWETAN/VELI NHLAPO
Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: SOWETAN/VELI NHLAPO

Lindiwe Sisulu was Ramaphosa’s running mate at the ANC December conference but did not make the cut after Mabuza’s critical intervention to back Ramaphosa in return for the deputy president position. 

She has been a long-serving cabinet minister in the portfolios such as defence, public service and administration, and human settlements portfolios.

In 2014 she was accused of squandering public money while she was defence minister when it was revealed that she had spent R11m for chartered flights on a Gulfstream jet while defence minister.

She has also come under fire for a number of appointments she made, including the appointment of former national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Menzi Simelane as a special adviser.

Ramaphosa, during a reshuffle of the cabinet in 2018, moved Sisulu to the ministry of international relations ministry.

Naledi Pandor, 65, international relations minister

Naledi Pandor. Picture: GCIS
Naledi Pandor. Picture: GCIS

Naledi Pandor grew up in the ANC. She has been in the executive since 2004. She was appointed education minister in 2004 and 2009, drawing on her wide expertise from universities and outside the department to re-establish the basic principles of education.

In 2012, Zuma appointed her home affairs minister, and in 2014 she was moved to the ministry of science and technology. She has done two stints in that portfolio. 

In 2018 Ramaphosa moved her back to the department of higher education.

In April, she graduated with a PhD in education at the University of Pretoria. She also has a master’s degree in education policy and another in linguistics.

Ronald Lamola, 34, justice and correctional services minister

Ronald Lamola. Picture: SOWETAN
Ronald Lamola. Picture: SOWETAN

Ronald Lamola, a former ANCYL president and once EFF leader Malema’s second in charge, once helped lead the siege against the ANC leadership when it started taking action against the firebrand leader.

He went as far as to insist Malema was still the ANCYL leader.

However, just before the ANC’s 2012 Mangaung elective conference, when the party had rejected Malema’s apology and pleas to allow him to return, Lamola changed his tune. He was acting president of the league until its leadership of was dissolved in 2013.

Lamola did not follow his fellow ANCYL leaders to the EFF. For a few years he was in a political wilderness, but emerged again when the league was ready to elect a new president.

He put up a fight but lost to Zuma loyalist and so-called “premier league” favourite Collen Maine.

Lamola became an outspoken detractor of Zuma, sometimes cutting a loan lone figure outside St George’s where the ANC NEC was meetings, protesting for Zuma to go. His opposition to Zuma finally paid off, Lamola was elected to the NEC himself at the Nasrec conference.

He sat on the ANC’s economic transformation subcommittee and was the party’s voice on land reform and its policy decision to amend section 25 of the constitution.

Gwede Mantashe, 63, mineral resources and energy minister

Gwede Mantashe. Picture: SOWETAN/VELI NHLAPO
Gwede Mantashe. Picture: SOWETAN/VELI NHLAPO

Gwede Mantashe, who hails from Cala in the Eastern Cape, is the current chair of the ANC, following a 10-year stint as secretary-general. He is a former chair of the SACP and is still part of its central committee. 

Mantashe has a long history in mining and was general-secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).  He has served as mineral resources minister for more than a year, after being appointed to the position in Ramaphosa’s cabinet reshuffle in February 2018. Despite his trade unionist background, Mantashe is respected by industry roleplayers on the business side. The executive leadership of the Minerals Council SA earlier in May called on Ramaphosa to keep Mantashe as minister in the portfolio.  

Business Day reported that council CEO Roger Baxter said Mantashe has wrought fundamental changes to the way the department interacts with the council, which is the mining industry’s lobby body representing about 90% of SA’s mineral output.

But Mantashe has been embroiled in the scandal surrounding facilities management company Bosasa and appeared before the ANC’s integrity commission in the days preceding the cabinet announcement.

Bheki Cele, 67, police minister

Bheki Cele. Picture: NTSWE MOKOENA
Bheki Cele. Picture: NTSWE MOKOENA

Bheki Cele had his first stint as a minister when he was appointed police minister by Ramaphosa in February 2018, taking over from Fikile Mbalula.

He was a crucial cog in Ramaphosa’s campaign machinery for his election as ANC president in December 2017.

Before that he was the deputy minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, appointed to that position by Zuma.

Cele served as police commissioner from 2009 to 2012.

Zuma fired Cele in June 2012 after a board of inquiry found that he was not fit to hold office. The inquiry was mandated by the former president to establish whether Cele had acted corruptly, dishonestly, or with an undeclared conflict of interest in relation to two police lease deals he signed.

In his final briefing after being fired he said: “I love politics and politics loves me. I would not be surprised if I go back to the active political life.”

Cele approached the court to overturn the decision by Zuma. In April this year, the high court in Pretoria set aside the decision to fire him.

Jackson Mthembu, 60, minister in the presidency

Jackson Mthembu. Picture: ALON SKUY
Jackson Mthembu. Picture: ALON SKUY

Jackson Mthembu is the former ANC chief whip in the National Assembly. He was replaced in that position with Pemmy Majodina last week ahead of the swearing in of new MPs.

He is the erstwhile head of the ANC subcommittee on communications and former party national spokesperson.

Mthembu was accused by opposition party leaders, and later by rebel ANC MPs, of using his position as leader of the ANC caucus to shield Zuma from accountability.

In April 2017, he ordered ANC MPs to toe the party line and not follow their conscience in the fifth no-confidence motion against Zuma.

Mthembu argued at the time that voting to remove the scandal-prone Zuma, described as a constitutional delinquent by his detractors, would be tantamount to “throwing a nuclear bomb” on the SA government.

However, as the political tectonic plates started to shift in Ramaphosa’s favour, who was Zuma’s deputy at the time, Mthembu’s rhetoric started to change as well.

In the build-up to the ANC’s elective conference at Nasrec in December 2017, Mthembu told Reuters that whoever the party chose, the incoming leadership should tell Zuma to go.

In March 2019, Mthembu issued an apology that the ANC caucus supported unlawful decisions, including adopting a report exonerating Zuma from paying for non-security upgrades at his sprawling Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal.

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, 55, minister in the presidency for women, youth and persons with disabilities

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Picture: NTSWE MOKOENA
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Picture: NTSWE MOKOENA

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane served as minister of rural development and land reform from 2018 to 2019, and served as the minister of international relations from 2014 to 2018.

Politically she was an active member of the UDF and served in the various structures of the Mass Democratic Movement and the ANC underground structures in 1980s.

She is currently a member of the ANC NEC, its NWC and the ANCWL.

She came under fire for granting former Zimbabwean first lady, Grace Mugabe, diplomatic immunity after she was charged with assaulting a woman in Sandton.

Pravin Gordhan, 70, public enterprises minister


Gordhan is one of the most prominent and respected cabinet members in SA, who rallied wide support behind him based on his uncompromising stance on corruption and state capture.

He is a pharmacist by training and former commissioner of the SA Revenue Service (Sars) and has served as finance minister twice, as well as serving as co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister. He was appointed as public enterprises minister in February 2018. He is also a member of the ANC’s NEC.

In March 2017 his axing as finance minister, together with his deputy Mcebisi Jonas, by Zuma set in motion mass mobilisation against Zuma and state capture. Gordhan most recently was found to have acted improperly by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane when he approved the pension payout of former deputy Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay.

This has once again resulted in mobilisation around Gordhan, with opponents like the EFF calling for him not to be appointed and civil society and business calling for Mkhwebane’s removal as head of the chapter nine institution.

Senzo Mchunu, 61, public service and administration minister


Former KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu led Ramaphosa’s spirited campaign for ANC leader in 2017 in the volatile province to become ANC leader in December 2017.

He was Ramaphosa’s choice for the ANC secretary-general position at the ANC’s 2017 conference but this was not to be as by former Free State premier Ace Magashule took the position with 24 more votes.

Following the 2017 Nasrec conference, Mchunu was given a spot at the party’s Luthuli House headquarters as head of organising.

Mchunu resigned as KwaZulu-Natal premier of KZN in 2016 after losing his position as ANC provincial chair to incumbent and now new premier Sihle Zikalala, who was a staunch Zuma ally.

In 2017, Mchunu reportedly stated that while Zuma may have “been popular in the past”, the situation had changed to a point “where he now depends more and more on the ANC rather than the ANC depending on him”.

He also lashed out at Zuma in 2018, saying the former president had “thrown his sense of distinguishing between what is wrong or right into serious question”.

Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, small business development minister

Khumbudzo Ntshavheni is a former ANC Limpopo spokesperson as well as a former municipal manager of the Ba-Phalaborwa municipality in Limpopo.

She is also a former nonexecutive board member of state-owned arms manufacturer Denel and was later appointed to the board when Dan Mantsha was appointed chair in 2015.

Ntshavheni has an MBA from Bradford University School of Management in the UK and also has degrees in development studies, political science and an honours degree in labour relations from the University of Johannesburg. She has also served as MD of Phore Farms and was a lecturer at Unisa.

Lindiwe Zulu, 61, social development minister

Lindiwe Zulu. Picture: KOPANO TLAPE / GCIS
Lindiwe Zulu. Picture: KOPANO TLAPE / GCIS

Lindiwe Zulu joined cabinet for the first time in 2014, when Zuma created the small business ministry.

She has been serving in the ministry ever since and has been a staunch supporter of Zuma’s.

Before her appointment to the executive, Zulu was SA’s ambassador to Brazil and also served as Zuma’s special adviser on international relations.

In 2013, Zulu had a run-in with former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, when she was Southern African Development Community (Sadc) chief mediator in the neighbouring country. Zulu at the time had openly called for the Zimbabwean elections to be postponed.

Nathi Mthethwa, 52, sports, art and culture minister

Nathi Mthethwa. Picture: GCIS
Nathi Mthethwa. Picture: GCIS

Nathi Mthethwa, a former minister of arts and culture, and police, has made his way through the ranks of both the government and the ANC.

Before being appointed minister, he first served as an MP, where he was chair of the minerals and energy portfolio committee from 2004 to 2008. He was appointed the ANC’s chief whip in 2008.

Mthethwa was a shop steward of the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) when he was recruited into the underground work of the ANC as part of Operation Vula between 1988 and 1989.

He was also prominent in the structures of the ANCYL.

In December 2017 Mthethwa was on Dlamini-Zuma’s slate to become national chair of the ANC, but lost out to Mantashe, who currently holds the position.

Today he is a member of the ANC’s NEC and as well as a member of the ANC’s national working committee (NWC).

Ayanda Dlodlo, 56, state security minister

Ayanda Dlodlo. Picture: GCIS/ELMOND JIYANE
Ayanda Dlodlo. Picture: GCIS/ELMOND JIYANE

Ayanda Dlodlo served as a deputy minister from May 2014 until she was promoted to communications minister in March 2017.

She had a short stint at the ministry, which was dealing with the crisis at the national broadcaster the SABC before she was shifted in the second cabinet reshuffle of the 2017 to the home affairs portfolio.

In June 2017, it was revealed that Dlodlo’s stay at the luxury Oberoi Hotel in Dubai was booked for by Gupta-owned Sahara Computers‚ and the bill settled by controversial businessman Fana Hlongwane. This was while she was deputy minister of public service and administration.

This came to light while she was serving as communications minister. A few months after her appointment she was shifted to the department of home affairs where she had to deal with the suspension of director-general Mkuseli Apleni. The court overturned his suspension and he was allowed to return to work. He resigned in April 2018. 

In February 2018, Ramaphosa appointed Dlodlo public service and administration minister. She has been working to cut the public wage bill.

Zizi Kodwa, 49, state security deputy minister

Zizi Kodwa. Picture: SOWETAN
Zizi Kodwa. Picture: SOWETAN

Former presidency and ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa was once one of Zuma’s trusted advisers. He was reportedly sent to the Union Buildings in 2010 to help Zuma with a media onslaught, as a special communications adviser. However, in  2012 he left the presidency under a of cloud when Zuma started falling out with the ANC Youth League, which Kodwa was once a spokesperson for.

Kodwa was deployed to parliament after the 2014 general elections but resigned shortly after that. In May of that year he was appointed ANC spokesperson, taking over from Mthembu.

From being a staunch Zuma supporter, he turned two years ago and became part of the fight back against him. Since Ramaphosa’s election as ANC president, Kodwa took up the position of ANC presidency spokesperson at Luthuli House.

Kodwa was one of the people reportedly flagged by the ANC’s integrity commission.

Earlier this year, Kodwa faced allegations of rape, sexual assault and drugging two women. At the time he described the claims as a “grotesque attack” on him and his reputation.

In May, it was reported that the woman who accused Kodwa of rape had withdrawn her complaint against him.

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, 41, tourism minister

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. Picture: NTSWE MOKOENA
Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. Picture: NTSWE MOKOENA

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane was the minister of science and technology from 2018 to 2019.

She was also the communications minister from 17 October 2017 to 26 February 2018 and had a short stint as energy minister from March 31 to October 16 2017. Kubayi-Ngubane is a member of the ANCYL and a member of the Gauteng provincial executive committee.

She holds a BA from Vista University and a project management diploma from Damelin.

She was thrust into the spotlight when she was a member of parliament’s ad hoc committee on Nkandla, which looked into Zuma’s infamous homestead in KwaZulu-Natal. Then MP Kubayi-Ngubane and colleague Doris Dlakude elicited outrage when they appeared to be painting their nails during the committee proceedings. She was one of the MPs who vigorously defended Zuma in the proceedings.

Ebrahim Patel, 57, trade and industry minister

Ebrahim Patel. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Ebrahim Patel. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

Ebrahim Patel is the former general secretary of the SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union. He was appointed as minister of economic development by Zuma in 2009 and was reappointed in 2014.

He served on the governing body of the Geneva-based International Labour Organisation (ILO) for 10 years, and was one of the drafters of the ILO’s declaration on social justice for a fair globalisation in 2008.

Patel played an instrumental role in the drafting of the Labour Relations Act  in 1995 and served on the Judicial Services Commission joint interview panel for appointments to the Labour Court and the Labour Appeals Court.

He told parliament in 2018 that he turned down several invitations from the controversial Gupta family, including an invite to attend a family wedding at Sun City in 2013, which was partly funded by money looted from the Estina dairy farm project in Vrede, Free State.

Fikile Mbalula, 48, transport minister

Fikile Mbalula. Picture: THE TIMES
Fikile Mbalula. Picture: THE TIMES

Mbalula brought theatrics to sports and recreation, and police ministries when he headed them

Mbalula, also a former ANCYL leader, was appointed deputy police minister by Zuma, and then sports minister in 2010.

Malema claimed that Mbalula was called by the Guptas and told he was appointed sports minister. Mbalula apparently cried during an ANC NEC meeting over it.

Mbalula has made headlines several times for his bizarre and controversial public comments. As sports minister he called the national soccer team Bafana Bafana a “bunch of losers”.

Mbalula was moved to the police ministry during a 2017 cabinet reshuffle. In that position he removed controversial Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza after a court overturned his appointment, and former acting police commissioner Kgomotso Phalane, who is facing corruption charges.

In February 2018, Ramaphosa dropped Mbalula from the executive. He then took up the role of the ANC’s head of elections.

Some of the ones who did not make the grade:

Bathabile Dlamini

Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: THE TIMES
Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: THE TIMES

Bathabile was the minister in the presidency responsible for women and is the ANCWL president.

She served as social development minister in Zuma’s cabinet and was moved from the position by Ramaphosa in February 2018.

During her tenure as social development minister Dlamini was labelled incompetent over her handling of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) fiasco, which saw almost 17-million grant beneficiaries at risk of not receiving their money.

She was a staunch Zuma supporter, defending him at every turn and at the ANC Nasrec conference ensured that the ANCWL backed Dlamini-Zuma to succeed.

Dlamini is facing possible perjury charges. A few months ago she was found to have possibly lied under oath when dealing with the Sassa debacle in 2017. She had denied responsibility for the affair.

Derek Hanekom

Derek Hanekom. Picture: SOWETAN
Derek Hanekom. Picture: SOWETAN

The former tourism minister was an open critic of Zuma, which cost him his job in the March 2017 cabinet reshuffle.

Hanekom has also served as minister of science and technology, deputy minister of science and technology and minister of agriculture and land affairs. He has been highly rated for his grasp on the departments that he has served in. His passion for tourism is abundantly clear in his Twitter feed.  

Hanekom returned to cabinet in February 2018, under Ramaphosa.

Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba


Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba first joined cabinet as state security minister in February 2018 when Ramaphosa took over from Zuma. Her appointment followed almost a decade of the ministry being abused for political ends.

She was previously deputy minister of public service and administration. She was also chair of parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises.

Since being in office Letsatsi-Duba has had a run-in with Mkhwebane, who accused her of interfering with the functioning of her office and laid criminal charges against her at the Brooklyn police station.

This was after Letsatsi-Duba allegedly failed to hand over a declassified document to Mkhwebane, which was needed in connection with her investigation into the alleged violation of the executive members’ ethics code by Gordhan.

Jeff Radebe

Jeff Radebe. Picture: GCIS
Jeff Radebe. Picture: GCIS

Jeff Radebe has served in the cabinets of every president since the dawn of democracy. He has served in various portfolios, which included minister of public works in Nelson Mandela’s cabinet, minister of public enterprises as well as minister of transport under Mbeki. He served as minister of justice and constitutional development in Zuma’s first term and took over the position as minister in the presidency for planning, monitoring and evaluation after the death of the former incumbent Collins Chabane.

Radebe was moved to the energy portfolio after Ramaphosa’s first cabinet reshuffle in 2018.

Radebe is one of the ANC’s most senior leaders and is part of the party’s NEC. He is a trained lawyer and chaired the interviews that led to the appointment of new NPA boss Shamila Batohi. Radebe has courted his fair share of controversy during his time in office, including a sexting scandal.