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The cabinet vacancy arising from the death of minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu creates something of a poser for President Cyril Ramaphosa. Will he make a clean, straightforward replacement, as a football coach might fill a vacancy in his team? Or will he take a hard, in-depth look at his cabinet and embark on a sweeping reshuffle?

This is Ramaphosa’s fourth calendar year at the helm, having taken over from Jacob Zuma in 2018. His leadership style and approach are well established by now, with an aversion to conflict his most apparent trait. He relies on a conciliatory, Nelson Mandela-esque process that many suspect may have frustrated even Madiba himself...

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