JOHANNESBURG – South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has done away with the ministry of state security and moved the portfolio into his office after calls to sack the minister in that portfolio, and the minister of police.
He announced a cabinet shake-up in which he also said he had accepted the resignations of former finance minister Tito Mboweni, and former health minister Zweli Mkhize.
The boldest change though is his decision to “do away with the ministry of state security and to place political responsibility for the State Security Agency in the presidency.”
“This is to ensure that the country’s domestic and foreign intelligence services more effectively enable the President to exercise his responsibility to safeguard the security and integrity of the nation. We are working to ensure peace and stability in the wake of the recent outbreak of violence and destruction in parts of the country.” he said
The intelligence agency was caught napping when shopping malls were looted and burnt down by protestors who said they were demanding the release from prison of former president Jacob Zuma.
But it later emerged that there was a more concerted plan to allegedly destabilise the country that was not detected or prevented by intelligence.
The agency has also been a major topic of shock at the state capture inquiry.
Several witnesses said it was hollowed out during Zuma’s tenure, and its billions were dished out in bags of cash for missions that didn’t exist, and to hand-picked spies with no security clearance, as well ANC military veterans, ministers and Zuma.
State Security minister Ayanda Dlodlo has been moved to public administration but her deputy Zizi Kodwa retains his position with the move to the presidency.
Ramaphosa didn’t provide any details but he says defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula will be deployed to a new position, and thanked her for her service while Thandi Modise is the new minister in that portfolio.
Khumbudzo Ntshaveni who held the fort in the presidency following the death of Jackson Mthembu moves to communications while communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams moves to small business where Ntshaveni was.
Ramaphosa said now South Africa is mobilising all available resources and capabilities to rebuild its economy and provide relief to those most vulnerable.
He changed ministers and deputy ministers in ten portfolios and separated the ministries of human settlements, and water and sanitation.
“The reality is that water is a far broader issue, impacting not only on human settlements, but also on agriculture, industry, mining and environmental management. Water is our country’s most critical natural resource. Water security is fundamental to the lives and health of our people, to the stability of our society and to the growth and sustainability of our economy.” said Ramaphosa.
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