President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo: Kopano Tlape/GCIS.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is under pressure to pick a Cabinet consisting of people with no baggage and scandals surrounding them.

Deputy President David Mabuza is staying following a massive pushback by his supporters against an initial move to replace him with Lindiwe Sisulu.

According to his close associates and some senior ANC leaders the decision to reappoint Mabuza followed complaints that removing him would divide the ANC and flout the Polokwane resolution that the party’s deputy leader becomes the country’s deputy president.

Sources in the ANC have indicated that Ramaphosa has gone for credible individuals who are not implicated in wrongdoing.

The SACP, Cosatu and the ANC Youth League said they wanted a credible Cabinet with no cloud hanging over any of the new ministers.

Ramaphosa is expected to announce his Cabinet next Sunday, after his inauguration in Pretoria a day earlier.

It is expected that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan will be kept in his position in a new, trimmed Cabinet.

Ramaphosa will cut the size of his Cabinet from 35 ministers to 25 ministers. The number of deputy ministers will be slashed from 37 to about 10.

This is part of the reconfiguration plan Ramaphosa has been pushing for several months. Other than Gordhan to be kept in the Cabinet, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will also remain in the National Treasury.

Ronald Lamola is said to be favoured to take over as minister of rural development and land reform.

It is believed Derek Hanekom will keep his job in tourism.

ANC national executive committee (NEC) member David Masondo is also going to be in the Cabinet.

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams will also retain her position in the already merged communications ministry.

She has been heading the portfolio for the last few months.

Bheki Cele is favoured to keep his job in the police. SACP first deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila said on Saturday they needed consultation on who was going to be part of the Cabinet.

“The most important thing is that there be consultations once the president is elected and inaugurated.

“The big issue is that those with issues to answer should not be part of the Cabinet,” said Mapaila.

Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said they met with Ramaphosa last week.

In those discussions the issue of the Cabinet came in, but they discussed the principle of appointing people and not names of individuals to be appointed.

“We wouldn’t call it consultation.

“We had a courtesy meeting with the president on the appointment of premiers.

“He was informing us on the criteria followed,” said Pamla.

He said they wanted credible people to be appointed to the Cabinet.

Sunday Independent