South Africa

70 ANC members on the chopping block

South Africa’s cabinet is set to undergo a major overhaul after the ruling party lost its parliamentary majority in last week’s elections, with seven serving ministers losing out on a seat.

Those who won’t make the cut on the African National Congress’s list of candidates to serve in the 400-member National Assembly include Police Minister Bheki Cele, Defense and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise, Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi and International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, and Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma all indicated that they planned to retire before the May 29 election, which saw the ANC lose 71 seats in the legislature.

Zizi Kodwa resigned as sports, arts and culture minister on Wednesday after he was charged with corruption.

Under South African law, the president has sole discretion to appoint the cabinet and can include two people who aren’t members of the National Assembly.

It’s unclear who will head the new government and how it will be composed, with coalition talks still underway.

Among those in line for a parliamentary seat are former President Jacob Zuma’s daughter, Duduzile, and Des van Rooyen, who briefly served as finance minister in December 2015 after Zuma fired Nhlanhla Nene from the post.

Both feature on the list of candidates submitted by Zuma’s new uMkhonto weSizwe Party, which won 14.6% of the vote in its inaugural national election.

The Constitutional Court ruled that Zuma isn’t eligible to serve in the legislature because he was convicted of contempt for refusing to testify before a commission of inquiry that investigated graft during his scandal-marred tenure as president, which ended in 2018.


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