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David Mabuza a Cabinet Lekgotla no-show ahead of reshuf…

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The office of the deputy president told Daily Maverick that David Mabuza is dealing with a family bereavement and will not be attending the two-day Cabinet Lekgotla. 

“Deputy President David Mabuza has tendered his apology for the Cabinet Lekgotla taking place from 2nd and 3rd February 2023 due to a family bereavement. The Deputy President lost his brother and is engaged with preparations for the funeral,” a brief statement from his office said. 

Mabuza was also not present at the ANC Lekgotla which took place last week where the governing party was discussing key policy. 

The country has been on tenterhooks as President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce changes to his executive. Recently-elected ANC second-in-command Paul Mashatile is due to be sworn in as an MP, paving the way to replace Mabuza.

Mabuza was not re-elected as the party’s Deputy President at the ANC’s  national conference in December 2022 nor was he able to garner enough support to be part of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC). 

The outgoing Deputy President is said to have already told Ramaphosa of his imminent resignation which is supposed to be formalised after the Cabinet Lekgotla. 

KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance MEC Sihle Zikalala. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

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KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance MEC Sihle Zikalala will also be sworn in as an MP while murmurs persist about the possibility of former Gauteng Economic Development MEC Parks Tau also being given a position in the national executive. Tau has already been replaced as the Gauteng legislature finance committee chairperson. The ANC’s Mpapa Kanyane will be the acting chairperson effective from 1 February. 

Present at the lekgotla were Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, both of whom are speculated to be dropped from Ramaphosa’s cabinet. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa, David Mabuza
President Cyril Ramaphosa chairing Cabinet Lekgotla, held at Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House, Pretoria on 2 February 2023. (Photo: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS)

Other ministers who were present and could also face the axe after failing to be elected into the ANC’s NEC,  include State Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor and Sports Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa. 

Speaking to the media at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele could not be drawn about the specifics around the reshuffle. Instead, he insisted that it is the President’s prerogative to decide who will be hired and fired.

The minister did however outline what would be discussed during the lekgotla. On the agenda is the energy crisis and discussion around the economy. 

“We will be looking at the energy crisis, issues of crime, issues of triple challenge…So this Cabinet Lekgotla is going to spend a lot of time analysing our performance and then answering questions around the key programmes that can actually make a difference in a short space of time,” he said.  DM


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