EFF CIC Julius Malema has told the media today the only reason President Jacob Zuma removed Mmamoloko Kubayi as energy minister and replaced her with Dr Bongani Bongo was his attempt to repay the Russians, as he has “taken their money”.
“He [Zuma] is chasing the nuclear deal. When [Tina Joemat] Pettersson was in Russia … he wanted [Nhlanhla] Nene to sign documents given to him by Russians. Nene refused. He took time, and was removed. Pettersson was also removed,” Malema said when answering questions during a press conference he admitted had been convened to preempt the Cabinet reshuffle announcement.
Malema said David Mahlobo would run both the ministries of energy and intelligence because “[Bongani] Bongo is just a young man who knows nothing” and who could never undermine Mahlobo, as he admired the former state security minister.
The former ANCYL president also suggested Mmamoloko Kubayi was removed for refusing to “comply with the brief”, becoming “problematic” and only tried complying with Zuma’s instructions when it was too late to convince Zuma she was prepared to sign off on the nuclear deal.
He warned that this was unlikely to be the last Cabinet reshuffle during Zuma’s term of office at the Union Buildings. Malema warned the only reason Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma had not been appointed to Cabinet was because she most likely rejected being appointed deputy minister in the Presidency, the position now left vacant by Buti Manamela.
“Buti [Manamela]’s place has not been filled because they are not courageous. Madam [Dlamini-Zuma] argued it was too junior for her. Either they let Jeff go, and give her the post. It’s a more of a PR exercise. Going into 2019, they will say she is not new. They will say she can make it, she has been a minister in the Presidency.”