By RAY KHUMALO


SOUTH African President Cyril Ramaphosa has wielded the axe in his first cabinet reshuffle, firing Defence minister Nosiviwe Maphisa-Nqakula and moving state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo back to public service and administration.

In a big move last seen in SA during the Mandela era, Ramaphosa announced that the troubled state security will now fall under the Presidency in what appears to be his bid to take control of the spooks.

Dlodlo has been moved to public service and administration, where she served before, while Mapisa-Nqakula will be given a new role, which wasn’t specified in Ramaphosa’s address tonight.

National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise is the new defence minister.

Finance minister Tito Mboweni asked to be released from his position, and Ramaphosa says he accepted the request. Enoch Godongwana is the new finance minister.

Tito Mboweni resigned as finance minister.

Corruption-accused Zweli Mkhize resigned today facing firing from cabinet following the R150 million Health Department tender scandal linking him and his family.

The Special Investigative Unit (SIU) is preparing criminal charged against the former health minister and his cronies, who looted Covid-19 funds at a time when South Africa is deep in the throes of a devastating pandemic.

Mkhize has been replaced by his deputy, Dr Joe Phaahla.

Ramaphosa moved Zizi Kodwa, who is accused of corruption at the State Capture Commission, to the Presidency, as deputy minister in charge of state security.

Mondli Gungubele replaces the late Jackson Mthembu as minister in the Presidency.

Khumbudzo Ntshavheni is the new minister of communications. She replaces Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, who has been moved to Small Business Development.

The cabinet reshuffle follows weeks of speculation and pressure on Ramaphosa to clean up government, and after the violent protests that rocked South Africa last month following the jailing of truant former president Jacob Zuma, who is serving 15 months in prison for contempt of court.

Most of the ministers inherited by Ramaphosa were appointed by Zuma. Ramaphosa was deputy president. 

Ramaphosa also reconfigured some ministries, including Huma Settlements and Water Affairs, which are now broken into two.

Senzo Mchunu is the new minister of water and sanitation, and Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane minister of human settlements.

Lindiwe Sisulu is new minister of tourism. – Zambezi News