Major reshuffle in SA as state security ministry axed

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa reshuffled his cabinet on Thursday evening, with notable changes for the finance and health ministries.

Zweli Mkhize resigned as health minister hours before Mr Ramaphosa was set to fire him after he was embroiled in a corruption scandal.

He is being replaced by his former deputy, Joe Phaahla.

While a cabinet reshuffle has been on the cards for a while the biggest surprise has been at the finance ministry.

Enoch Gondongwana replaces Tito Mboweni, who had asked to be released from his post.

Mr Mboweni, who has been at the helm since 2018, has been instrumental in trying to guide South Africa’s economy through the disruption caused by Covid-19.

The state security ministry is being completely axed – three weeks after deadly riots rocked the country and brought into question South Africa’s policing and intelligence capability.

The functions of that ministry will now fall under the presidency – a move criticised by the main opposition party which says it gives the president too much power over state security and intelligence.

Mr Ramaphosa also announced he would appoint an expert panel to review the country’s preparedness for future security responses.

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