President Cyril Ramaphosa has finally broken his silence on the Cabinet reshuffle after he put paid to speculation by announcing that the reshuffle will happen on Monday at 7pm.
Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said despite speculation that the president was to make the announcement on Thursday, this was not true.
He said the president was still having a persistent cold that started last week when he hosted his counterpart from Uganda, Yoweri Museveni.
ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, in his capacity as transport minister, confirmed he had attended the meeting with Ramaphosa, during the visit by Museveni, and he had a cold.
Magwenya said although there had been reports on the reshuffle there was no set date for Ramaphosa to do it.
“We have clarified this matter. There was never any set date for the president to announce the reconfiguration of the national executive and there was never any deadline,” said Magwenya.
He added that Ramaphosa had been in consultation.
He also dismissed claims that Ramaphosa was derelict in his duties when he attended the auction at his Phala Phala farm by the Ankole society when the nation was waiting for the Cabinet reshuffle.
“But contrary to media coverage and speculation on social platforms, there was no plan for the president to announce changes to Cabinet on Thursday, the 2nd of March.
“As a result, there was no postponement or cancellation of such an announcement. On Friday the 3rd of March, President Ramaphosa honoured an engagement of the Ntaba Nyoni Cattle Stud. This was a dinner preceding an annual auction. The dates for these events were scheduled a number of months ago. In view of his discomfort, the president made a brief stop at Friday’s dinner – to greet guests. President Ramaphosa did not attend the auction itself the following day as his cold persisted and required that he should rest,” said Magwenya.
Paul Mashatile, who was elected deputy leader of the ANC, is expected to be announced as the country’s number two.
This was after David Mabuza quit his job as the country’s deputy president last week.
This followed his earlier announcement that he had resigned, but Ramaphosa had asked him to stay on.
There will also be a new transport minister as Mbalula will work at Luthuli House full-time as secretary-general of the ANC.
The position of Ayanda Dlodlo will also be filled after almost a year since she left. Thulas Nxesi has been acting minister of public service and administration.
Nxesi is the minister of employment and labour.