Editorials 11.9.2017 05:45 am

Knives are out for Zuma dissidents

President Jacob Zuma.

President Jacob Zuma.

The power play for Dlamini-Zuma’s rise to power is well and truly under way.

South Africa should brace for yet another cabinet reshuffle and the usual fallout that comes with it – the controversial reshuffle in March saw the axing of then finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, and spelled huge trouble for the economy.

We can expect this one to be even more dramatic, as it is not only a strategic play by President Jacob Zuma to further entrench his preferred successor, but also a purge from cabinet of the opposition faction within the ANC. News emerged this weekend that presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma would return to parliament in a high-profile portfolio.

This, it has been speculated, would allow Zuma to exit early and hand over power to her if she wins at the ANC’s elective conference in December.

Furthermore, speculation is rife that the attack on Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa – Dlamini-Zuma’s presidential rival – would be stepped up, with last week’s emergence of his extramarital affairs just the start of a campaign that may lead to his removal. Should this happen, it is not hard to imagine that the preferred candidate for deputy president would be Dlamini-Zuma.

In addition, a cabinet position for Dlamini-Zuma would give her a stronger platform from which to campaign against Ramaphosa. But let’s not forget what else lies behind this move that would trigger a far-reaching cabinet reshuffle.

If anyone thought that last month’s vote of confidence in President Zuma would simply be written off – think again.

About 30 ANC MPs voted against the continuation of Zuma’s reign. The president is looking to get rid of those who oppose him and bulk up his faction of sycophants and rent seekers. Expect it to get bloody in the coming weeks.

The knifes are out for those who dare to speak truth to power.

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