The honourable Dlamini-Zuma gets sworn in to Parliament

ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was sworn in as a member of Parliament on Thursday amid speculation that yet another Cabinet reshuffle looms.

It remains unclear which position Dlamini-Zuma will be deployed to fill, but she said immediately after she was sworn in at the deputy speaker’s office that she has no knowledge if she will be sent to Cabinet. 

“I’ve been informed by the office of the chief whip and the [secretary general] of the ANC that I’m coming here to be a member of Parliament. They have not told me anything else. So, as far as I’m concerned I’m to Parliament to be a member of Parliament. I’ve been sworn in, that’s all I know,” she said. 

Political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni told the Mail & Guardian that it is unlikely that the Zuma camp’s candidate for ANC president will sit on the sidelines. “… She won’t be a backbencher in Parliament,” Fikeni said.

The ANC confirmed that Dlamini-Zuma would become an MP after National Executive Committee member Pule Mabe departed the National Assembly almost two weeks ago. The rumours of an impending reshuffle have been accompanied by reports Dlamini-Zuma would replace Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande. Fikeni, however, said that the pressure on the higher education ministry to deliver free education may set Dlamini-Zuma up for failure and hinder her campaign.

-- Advert --

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga agreed with with Fikeni’s view, telling the Mail & Guardian the South African Communist Party (SACP) would “wage war” if Nzimande were to be axed.

The speculation that a Cabinet reshuffle is imminent come as President Jacob Zuma is reportedly making preparations for his exit strategy.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has meanwhile defended Dlamini-Zuma’s deployment, answering critics in the party’s own branches who alleged that her MP status was a result of her last name.

“We are not deploying her because she is a Zuma. We are deploying her because in the original list to Parliament, she was in the top 20. She is back now, when we adapt the list, we have to reverse her back [sic],” he told ANC members over the weekend.

Dlamini-Zuma was previously appointed to Cabinet in 1994 where she served as health minister before later becoming African Union chairperson. 

Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.

‘We’re satisfied with SA’s land reform policy’— US Ambassador

Top US official is lobbying multinational firms to invest in South Africa

Hosni Mubarak is dead, but the Egypt he built is...

Despite the efforts of the Arab Spring, Egypt is still led by a military dictatorship made in Mubarak’s image

Inside the Security Branch: Torture between brandy and boerewors

A former SB operative, Paul Erasmus, talks about the torture of a young trade unionist, Neil Aggett, and the machinations at John Vorster Square

Press Releases

Tourism can push Africa onto a new path – minister

The continent is fast becoming a dynamic sought-after tourist destination

South Africa’s education system is broken and unequal, and must be fixed without further delay

The Amnesty International report found that the South African government continues to miss its own education upgrading targets

Business travel industry generates billions

Meetings Africa is ready to take advantage of this lucrative opportunity

Conferences connect people to ideas

The World Expo and Meetings Africa are all about stimulating innovation – and income

SAB Zenzele Kabili B-BBEE share scheme

New scheme to be launched following the biggest B-BBEE FMCG payout in South Africa’s history

Digging deep

Automation is unstoppable, but if we're strategic about its implementation, it presents major opportunities

TFSAs are the gymnasts of the retirement savings world

The idea is to get South Africans to save, but it's best to do your research first to find out if a TFSA is really suited to your needs

Achieving the litmus test of social relevance

The HSS Awards honours scholarly works based on their social relevance and contribution to the humanities and social sciences