Zuma likely to shake up Cabinet — if he survives
Mosebenzi Zwane (mining), Mmamoloko Kubayi (energy) and disgraced Deputy Higher Education Minister Mduduzi Manana are said to be on the block
President Jacob Zuma is considering making changes to his Cabinet if he survives a motion of no confidence in Parliament on Tuesday, according to two officials of the ANC who have knowledge of the matter.
Minerals Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi, and the Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana may be removed from the administration, according to one of the people who asked not to be named because he isn’t an official spokesman. Zuma’s spokesperson, Bongani Ngqulunga, didn’t answer a call to his cellphone or immediately respond to a voice message.
Zuma is facing the biggest threat to his eight-year presidency later on Tuesday when lawmakers vote in secret on whether to oust him as leader after a series of scandals and allegations of corruption relating to his relationship with the Gupta family. Removing Zwane, who has also been accused of being too close to the wealthy family, may placate some of Zuma’s critics amid a battle with mining companies over new empowerment regulations.
Zwane has clashed with mining companies and his own colleagues after releasing a charter to govern the racial transformation of the industry. The industry is challenging the charter in court, arguing that there wasn’t enough consultation and that the rules to boost black participation will make mining unprofitable.
Kubayi was announced as Energy Minister on March 31 in a wider Cabinet shake-up that saw Pravin Gordhan fired as finance minister and led to two ratings companies downgrading the nation’s debt to junk. The Energy Department is at the centre of the Zuma administration’s plans to build nuclear reactors.
Manana was filmed in a night-club brawl in Johannesburg on August 5 in which a woman was allegedly assaulted.
Zuma is set to survive an attempt to remove him, several ANC lawmakers said following a caucus meeting on Tuesday.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe warned the party’s legislators against voting Zuma out, according to people who attended the meeting. He criticised parliamentary speaker Baleka Mbete, who is also chairperson of the ANC, for ruling that the vote will be held in secret, the people said.
Mantashe declined to comment when called by Bloomberg.