Zuma silent on new Cabinet

African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma on Wednesday declined to be drawn on who would be part of the new Cabinet under Kgalema Motlanthe’s leadership.

The country would have to wait until “parliamentary and ANC processes” had taken their course, he told journalists at the annual King Shaka Day celebrations held in KwaDukuza (formerly Stanger).

“After necessary processes, the president will announce who will be the deputy president and also replacements of the ministers who resigned.”

He appealed for calm.

“Everything is under control. There must be no panic. There is a tendency among people who analyse to exaggerate things.
There is absolutely no constitutional crisis. Their analysis would be correct if things were not done under the parameters of the law and if people were forced to leave,” he said.

The Cabinet of South African President Thabo Mbeki met for the last time on Wednesday before he leaves office at the behest of the ruling party, the government said.

The Cabinet meeting late on Wednesday afternoon was to be followed by a press briefing on the resignations, a government statement said.

“It will be the last one,” government spokesperson Themba Maseko said, referring to the Mbeki administration’s final meeting.

The new president of South Africa will be elected at a parliamentary sitting in Cape Town on Thursday.

Members of the National Assembly will meet in the chamber at 11am and, following short period for prayers and meditation, Chief Justice Pius Langa will call for nominations of candidates for election as president and thereafter announce the names of the persons duly nominated.

“Depending on the number of valid nominations received, the election is not expected to last more than two hours,” said Vuyelwa Qinga-Vika, head of Parliament’s media management unit.

Thereafter the president-elect, at the invitation of the Speaker, Baleka Mbete, will address the house. The proceedings will then adjourn.

“The swearing in of the president-elect is expected to take place at Tuynhuys the same afternoon.”

The new president is expected to announce the Cabinet and deputy president immediately after being sworn in.

The ANC elected party deputy president Motlanthe to be the acting president until the elections early next year.

Berating the government
Earlier at the King Shaka Day celebrations, Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi berated the government for passing the National House of Traditional Leaders Bill and the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill.

He said the legislation was “a subversion of our monarchy” and that it provided rigid control of the Zulu monarchy.

“Removing this flexibility and forcing rigidity is a recipe for disaster and an insult to our nation’s monarch,” he said.

He described the legislation as trying to “mould” the Zulu nation into an entity it was not.

The celebrations were also attended by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sbu Ndebele, KwaZulu-Natal minister of finance Zweli Mkhize and numerous traditional leaders.

Zuma received a rapturous welcome when he arrived at the event hosted by King Goodwill Zwelithini. Nearly 8 000 people turned out.—Sapa, AFP

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