The Citizen newspaper quoted a highly placed source saying Tokyo Sexwale would be axed in the next cabinet reshuffle because he had been speaking against President Jacob Zuma’s administration.
“Although it might be useful for President Zuma to sideline a competitor, he cannot afford to do anything that will deepen the divisions within the ruling party,” political analyst Eusebius McKaiser says.
McKaiser says the president would have a difficult time justifying the decision, and stating poor performance would be out of the question.
“Housing is a massive problem. Besides most portfolios are struggling to deliver. Take land reform and education, for instance, but no one is saying fire Gugile Nkwinti, Blade Nzimade or Angie Motshekga,” McKaiser says.
But that does not mean Sexwale is home safe. McKaiser says nothing stops Zuma from getting rid of the human settlements minister in a cabinet reshuffle.
“Media should be careful not to use words like axed for the sake of a good headline. Reshuffles happen all the time,” he says.
The issue has probably been blown out of proportion, according to McKaiser, as there’s little chance that Sexwale will unseat Zuma.
Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has come under fire lately, with civil organisations suing her for non-delivery.
McKaiser says she has a 50% chance of being booted out. “It is possible, although the problems in the department are long and systematic, and not of Angie’s making. The Eastern Cape education department for one has not been cooperating with the national department.”
But McKaiser is certain that National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele will be dismissed. Unlike others who have said Cele is a political heavyweight, McKaiser believes the police commissioner is “politically disposable.”
“He comes from KZN where Zuma also comes from – so he has that support. Besides Zuma has a legal duty to fire Cele.”
McKaiser would not make any predictions with regards to who Zuma would pick to replace the late Minister of Public Service and Administration Roy Padayachie.