In a day of high drama, president Jacob Zuma finally approved the appointment of the SABC board and a few hours later struck at the ANC ally, the South African Communist Party by removing its General Secretary, Dr Blade Nzimande, as Minister of Higher Education, in an unexpected cabinet reshuffle.
The day itself started lazily except for one thing: Julius Malema had called a press conference for 10h00 without indicating what the presser was about. While the media was waiting to hear what the Commander-in-Chief was about, the presidency released a statement that president Zuma had approved the appointment of the SABC board after threats by some civil society organisations were taking him to court for missing the deadline to approve the appointment. Zuma announced Bongumusa Makhathini as Chairperson and Febe Potgieter-Gqubule as deputy chairperson.
Although there was national sigh of relief about the appointment of the board, it was quickly pointed out that Makhathini was a board member of one of Zuma’s wives foundation; Furthermore, with the ANC factions in a fight to the death in its forthcoming conference, the appointment of Potgieter-Gqubule raises suspicions owing to her close relationship with and loyalty to presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
A few hours later, on his way to Limpopo Province to open a road, Zuma struck with a vengeance. A presidential statement announced cabinet reshuffle in which the only casualty was the General Secretary of the SACP and Minister of Higher Education Dr Blade Nzimande. David Mahlobo has been moved form the ministry of State Security to Energy. Kubayi replaces Ayanda Dlodlo in Communications while Dlodlo takes over Home Affairs from Hlengiwe Mkhize who took over from the fired Nzimande. Backbencher Thomas Bongo was promoted to cabinet as State Security Minister.
By the end of the day, the SACP leadership was fuming and threatening fire and brimstone against Zuma. Second deputy secretary was livid, “an attack on the General Secretary of the SACP is an attack on the Party.” The Party leadership lashed out at Zuma for departing from the practice of consultation and collective leadership. The reiterated that Zuma should go and informed the media that a comprehensive response would be communicated soon.
The chess master is in top form.
Source: Sello Lediga