The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) on Tuesday said President Jacob Zuma’s latest cabinet reshuffle was a “carefully calculated manoeuvre” aimed at advancing a nuclear deal between South Africa and Russia.
David Mahlobo, a Zuma ally, was appointed as the country’s new Energy Minister a statement by the presidency said, also announcing various other cabinet changes.
“It seems it's clearly all about the nuclear deal, putting in place a trusted lieutenant in David Mahlobo to the department of energy,” said Casac executive secretary Lawson Naidoo.
“We know that Mahlobo has accompanied the president on several trips to Russia in recent times and one can now presume that was in order to lay the groundwork for this nuclear deal that I think is going to be the final signature on President Zuma’s tenure as president.”
Naidoo said the axing of South African Communist Party secretary general Blade Nzimande as higher education and training minister was not surprising.
“I think this is something that has been in the pipeline for some time. I think the interesting thing is that he’s only fired Blade and not other SACP-aligned ministers so one would have to see how the party responds to that.”