POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: Sweeping changes dominate landscape as Ramaphosa era gets under way
There is no end to sweeping political change this week, with a cabinet reshuffle in the offing and a decision looming from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on whether it will charge former president Jacob Zuma.
Speculation continued about when President Cyril Ramaphosa’s expected Cabinet shake-up would take place, which could follow a meeting of the ANC’s officials on Monday.
But with the budget due on Wednesday it seems increasingly likely that the key speech will be delivered by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, who is widely expected to be moved out of the key post in the next cabinet reshuffle.
In his maiden state of the nation address on Friday, Ramaphosa indicated that a reconfiguration of the Cabinet was on the cards.
As Ramaphosa prepares to stamp his authority on the state through a reshuffle, Zuma will continue to be in the spotlight.
The NPA team handling the case are considering whether to prosecute him on 12 charges of corruption, four of fraud, one of racketeering and one of money laundering emanating from 783 payments he allegedly received as kickbacks during the arms deal.
The team has been given until Friday to report back to NPA head Shaun Abrahams on a recommendation about whether to proceed with charges against Zuma after he made representations to the NPA in January.
Abrahams will also on Friday announce when he will take a decision on whether to proceed with charges against Zuma.
Weekend newspapers have reported that Zuma is likely to be charged.
The hunt by the Hawks for suspects related to the investigation into the Vrede dairy project will continue this week, with a reward of nearly R2m offered for information on the whereabouts of Ajay Gupta. City Press, however, reported that the family, as well as Zuma’s son Duduzane, were out of the country.
The debate on Ramaphosa’s maiden state of the nation address will take place in both houses of Parliament — the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces — on Monday.
Ramaphosa is scheduled to reply to the debate on Tuesday at 2pm.
The DA will brief the media on its expectations for the budget on Tuesday and the EFF will probably give Gigaba a hard time should he deliver the address because of his alleged role in state capture when he was public enterprises minister and at home affairs.
South African Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane is expected to flank Gigaba when he faces the media on budget day on Wednesday.