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Durban - Since taking over the government, President Jacob Zuma has been accused of deliberately appointing people from KwaZulu-Natal.
On Friday, the president announced two more people chosen from the province to join the cabal of “home-town” ministers and administrators who hold key security positions.
These exclude the national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega, who is from Limpopo, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who is from the Eastern Cape, and Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, who is from North West.
Opposition party Cope once described the trend of Zuma hiring people from KwaZulu-Natal as the “Zulufication” of the justice and security cluster, saying it was setting a bad precedent.
Former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema also questioned the pattern.
Here is a look at all of Zuma’s KZN men in the justice and security cluster
Jeff Radebe, Justice Minister
He is one Zuma’s most trusted ministers and the ANC head of policy. Radebe also chairs the critical Justice, Crime Prevention, Safety and Security cluster.
He is one of South Africa’s most experienced cabinet ministers and has served all four of the post-apartheid presidents.
Nathi Mthethwa, Police Minister
The no-nonsense Mthethwa has cleared many hurdles since taking over the position as head of the police in September 2008 following the departure of Thabo Mbeki.
He has been in Parliament since 1994 and Zuma reappointed him in 2009.
Mthethwa has not only seen the coming and going of subordinates such as Fikile Mbalula, Tim Williams, Bheki Cele and Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, but he has survived opposition parties’ salvos as well.
Siyabonga Cwele, State Security Minister
Another of Zuma’s lieutenants, the ultra-shrewd super spook is perhaps the person behind Zuma’s remarkable ability to survive political storms. He is firmly at the helm of covert operations.
S’Bu Ndebele, Correctional Services Minister
The former KwaZulu-Natal premier is a backroom player and not really one of Zuma’s close confidants. While Zuma cannot flush him, he still entrusts him with the Correctional Services portfolio.
Vas Soni, Special Investigating Unit Head
Soni’s star shone brightly during the Jali Commission which investigated corruption and the rot in South Africa’s prisons. He was mooted for a position on the Seriti Commission on the arms deal but he never made the cut.
His immediate task as head of the unit is to investigate fraud and corruption of R902 million in the Public Works Department.
Mxolisi Nxasana, NPA National Director
The newly appointed National Prosecuting Authority boss is a veteran legal eagle.
While the rationale behind the Nongoma-born Nxasana’s appointment baffled even the opposition parties, he commands great respect in legal circles.
He was a close of friend of the late Durban attorney Mvuseni Ngubane, who represented Cwele’s convicted drug-dealer ex-wife, Sheryl.
Dennis Dlomo, National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee
Born in Volksrust, Dlomo is counted as one of Zuma’s men. An experienced intelligence officer, his appointment as the head of the National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee was welcomed, even by the DA, because of his impressive espionage credentials.
Those who fell out of favour
Bheki Cele, Former National Police Commissioner
Fired by Zuma for his involvement in the SAPS HQs purchase scandal, an act that put paid to his public service career, Cele has bounced back in style by getting a seat on the ANC National Executive Committee.
Mo Shaik, Former South African Secret Service Head
He and Zuma go way back, to the late 1980s when he was the internal head of ANC intelligence. Shaik’s brother Schabir became Zuma’s financial adviser. Mo, the former ambassador to Algeria, was appointed by Zuma in 2009 to head the South African Secret Service only for he and National Intelligence Agency head Jeff Maqetuka to clash with Cwele in the so-called “Spy Wars” fallout.
Menzi Simelane, Former NPA National Director
The son of Durban attorney Bheki, Simelane was Justice director-general at age 35, but was discredited by the Ginwala Commission. Zuma hired him amid a storm that led to Zuma dismissing him.
Sandile Ngcobo, Former Chief Justice
Zuma appointed the Port Shepstone-born judge in 2009 but a constitutional and legal oversight prevented the president from extending his contract.