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Cyril Ramaphosa appoints KwaZulu-Natal loyalist Jomo Sibiya as special advisor

Jomo Sibiya is the new special advisor for President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Jomo Sibiya is the new special advisor for President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Jul 26, 2023


Former KwaZulu-Natal Public Works and Human Settlements MEC, Jomo Sibiya, has been appointed as a special advisor to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The hardworking Sibiya, who proudly calls himself an “Ankole’ through and through, was ousted in August last year when the reigning "Taliban" faction took power and reshuffled the provincial cabinet.

He moved back to being an ordinary MPL (member of the provincial legislature) in the KZN provincial legislature and continued his political work.

Sibiya and Ramaphosa’s high-profile public association started around 2016, when the ANC headed for its watershed elective conference at Nasrec in 2017.

At the time, the ANC in KZN was behind Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to succeed former President Jacob Zuma the following year.

Sibiya, who hails from Nquthu in northern KZN, and the likes of Mzwandile Mkhwanazi from Port Shepstone, Sithembiso Mshengu (now an MPL), Lindokuhle Khoza, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, Mike Mabuyakhulu, all from Durban, Sbu Mhlongo from Zululand (Mzala Nxumalo region), and many others, broke ranks with the province and backed Ramaphosa.

KwaZulu-Natal was seen as a no-go area for Ramaphosa, but Sibiya and his other comrades staged rallies and events and invited Ramaphosa to address them. One notable rally was held at the Curries Foundation around June 2017.

It was at that rally that it became clear that not the entire KZN ANC supported Dlamini Zuma for the ANC's presidency, but some pockets wanted continuity by electing Ramaphosa.

In the latter years, Sibiya reconciled with the faction led by Sihle Zikalala. He was appointed to the position of MEC following the death of Bheki Ntuli, the former MEC for Transport (Peggy Nkonyeni took Ntuli’s position and left public works).

He eventually joined the Zikalala faction in its ill-fated July 2022 campaign to retain power in the province, where he vied for the provincial treasurer position.

They lost to the "Taliban" which later instituted wholesale changes in the Cabinet, replacing Sibiya with Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba. He had defeated him for the party treasurer position a month earlier.

IOL understands that Sibiya, a graduate of the University of KwaZulu-Natal tendered his resignation on Wednesday and will start his new duties on August 1.

Presidential spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya has not commented on the appointment of Ramaphosa’s loyalists at the time this report was compiled.

Sibiya did not comment.

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IOL Politics