South Africa 11.9.2017 09:08 am

Nzimande sidesteps questions on Cabinet reshuffle rumours

SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande sits during a press briefing at the  SACP Policy Conference at the Birchwood Hotel, Johannesburg on 10 July 2017. The annual policy conference began today and will run until Thursday this week. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande sits during a press briefing at the SACP Policy Conference at the Birchwood Hotel, Johannesburg on 10 July 2017. The annual policy conference began today and will run until Thursday this week. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

The SACP leader says he is not going to comment on speculation about something that has not happened yet.

SACP secretary-general Blade Nzimande has refused to be drawn into speculation surrounding rumours of another Cabinet reshuffle, which would see him replaced by ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the minister of higher education.

The Sunday Times reported at the weekend, the announcement that Dlamini-Zuma would be sworn in as a member of parliament had revived speculation that President Jacob Zuma planned to make changes to his Cabinet after he narrowly survived the eighth no-confidence vote in his leadership, conducted through a secret ballot, in parliament last month.

ANC insiders who spoke to the paper claimed relations between Zuma and Nzimande were at an all-time low, and said Dlamini-Zuma would be well-positioned to announce free higher education to woo the youth vote in the 2019 general election.

“I don’t know anything about that. It’s your own media speculation,” Nzimande told EWN on the sidelines of a Cosatu shop stewards council meeting in Durban on Sunday.

“I am not in a position to comment on speculation. I can only really deal with something that is a fact, that has actually happened.”

The SACP leader also avoided questions about why he believed the former AU commissioner was returning to parliament.

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