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South Africa’s Zuma Reshuffles Cabinet, Axes Vocal Critic Blade Nzimande

South African President Jacob Zuma has appointed minister of state security David Mahlobo as energy minister in a cabinet reshuffle, the presidency said on Tuesday.

Zuma changed six ministers, including home affairs, state security and communications. Blade Nzimande, a vocal critic of Zuma, was removed as minister of higher education and training.

This is the second cabinet reshuffle in seven months after that of March that sparked a lot of protests in support of the former finance minister Pravin Gordhan who was sacked over suspicion of scheming against Zuma.

 

Zuma misses 48-hour SABC board deadline

President Jacob Zuma has apparently failed to meet the 48-hour deadline to appoint a permanent SABC board following a court application aimed at forcing him to do so or face a court challenge.

The deadline was 5pm yesterday.

The call for Zuma to appoint the SABC board followed an application filed by Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) and SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition in the high court in Joburg on Friday.

Yesterday, SOS spokesperson Dudu Hetsang said Zuma failed to meet their deadline.

Earlier yesterday, William Bird, of MMA ,also confirmed that the president “did not play ball”.

The two parties now expect the high court to set the matter down for trial.

Zuma’s spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga had said he would contact their legal team before the 5pm deadline, but did not respond when contacted later.

In their founding affidavits, the two organisations detailed their correspondence to Zuma and raised concerns about the apparent delays regarding the appointment of a permanent board.

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MMA wrote to Zuma on October 5 after the interim board term expired on September 26 and following Parliament’s decision three weeks earlier recommending the interim board be made permanent.

MMA said Zuma failed to respond to their initial letter, which prompted them to write another letter to him, expressing deep concern over “failure to formally comply (and) appoint the candidates”.

It was also reported in the Saturday Star that Zuma was allegedly stalling on the permanent appointments partly because he did not trust the former interim board chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama and her deputy Mathatha Tsedu.

But the MMA insisted the constitution makes it clear that the “president is to appoint the 12 non-executive members on the advice of the national assembly.

That means that, as a matter of law, the president has no discretion regarding whether to appoint board members identified by the national assembly.

“The only role for the president is to determine the chairperson and deputy from the board members identified by the national assembly. This makes the delay in appointment, with respect, inexplicable,” the affidavits stated.

The parties further contended that “the president has no discretion or power to refuse to appoint the persons identified by the national assembly or to delay doing so.

“There is no basis in law for the president’s refusal to appoint the selected non-executive members, or for his delay.

“Accordingly, there can be no lawful justification for the president’s inaction.”

Political Bureau

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Written by How Africa

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