'Reshuffle is about completing state capture'

'Reshuffle is about completing state capture'

Political analyst Dr Mcebisi Ndleteyana says the most concerning aspect of President Jacob Zuma's latest cabinet reshuffle is the decision to move David Mahlobo to the energy portfolio.

President Jacob Zuma in his office
The Presidency

The former state security minister is seen as a close ally of President Zuma, and someone who could finally give the green light for a nuclear deal with Russia.

Ndleteyana says the previous incumbent, Mmamaloko Kubayi, has been moved to the Department of Communications because she was unable to finalise the deal, which could end up costing the country R1 trillion. 

READ ALSO: Blade axed as President Zuma reshuffles his cabinet 

"And of course she has also been investigating the sale of petrol reserves that we had. So it would seem she was not simply going in there doing someone else's bidding, but insisted on doing things properly.

"That is why she has been reshuffled towards communications."

Ndleteyana says Mahlobo is one of President Zuma's strongest supporters. 

"Mahlobo is President Zuma's blue-eyed boy. He just loves him so much, it's just amazing for such an old man to be so infatuated with the president. 

"So Mahlobo will definitely do whatever the president wants him to do. He is always keen to please the president." 

The other high-profile move by President Zuma has been the axing of Blade Nzimande as Minister of Higher Education. 

Nzimande has been a vocal critic of the president, repeatedly calling for him to step down.

But Ndleteyana says he nevertheless finds the decision to axe Nzimande surprising. 

"There is a possibility that there might be more to this really than what meets the eye, because Blade Nzimande is not the only one that said the president must go. 

"You have other people there in cabinet who has said a similar thing. Lindiwe (Sisulu) has said it. (Deputy President) Cyril Ramaphosa has said the same thing.

"I don't think Blade has been removed purely because he said the president must resign. There must be something else to it."

The president last reshuffled his cabinet in March 2017.

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