Tuesday, July 12, 2011

South African President Zuma's Office Declines Comment on Reports of Cabinet Changes

Zuma’s Office Declines Comment on Reports of South Africa Cabinet Changes

By Franz Wild - Jul 12, 2011

South African President Jacob Zuma’s office declined to comment on speculation that he plans to reshuffle his Cabinet, which Business Day said might see Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu lose her post.

“There are no facts on the table about a reshuffle,” Mac Maharaj, Zuma’s spokesman, said in a phone interview today. “There is no such a discussion at the moment. All the reports are pure speculation.” Maharaj didn’t rule out the possibility of changes to government ministers.

Shabangu may be replaced by her deputy, Godfrey Oliphant, while Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa may replace Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka, Johannesburg-based Business Day newspaper said, without citing anyone for the information. Zuma may announce the changes after a four-day national executive committee meeting of the ruling African National Congress that begins in two days, it said.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula may replace Mthethwa, Business Day said.

Johannesburg-based The New Age newspaper yesterday said Zuma may make changes to his Cabinet, without citing where it got the information.

Musa Zondi, Shabangu’s spokesman, couldn’t immediately comment when Bloomberg News contacted him on his mobile phone today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Franz Wild in Johannesburg at fwild@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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