Natasha Marrian Financial Mail deputy editor & columnist

A cabinet reshuffle was the single most lethal tool used by former president Jacob Zuma to assert his authority and neutralise his opponents. It is a critical instrument in the arsenal of the president, and cannot be taken lightly. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s first reshuffle, which could take place at any time, will be instructive. Consultation is said to be a key consideration as he contemplates his first shake-up, already a marked shift from the conduct of his predecessor. But in the end, it is his prerogative as president. As such, it will reveal his mettle and indicate how he will balance the needs of SA and the ANC with the need to cement his own political power. Zuma skewed this balance for his personal benefit at the expense of the country and his own party. It was his removal of then finance minister Nhlanhla Nene which led to the exposure of the extent of the capture of the state. This single act began his descent from power, with his own top six officials — who had rallied...

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