Ramaphosa defends decision to keep Gwede Mantashe, Zizi Kodwa in reshuffle

Cyril Ramaphosa. Image credit: Twitter/SA Government

President Cyril Ramaphosa has defended his decision to keep Gwede Mantashe and Zizi Kodwa in the Executive in his recent Cabinet reshuffle.

Mantashe remained in his position as Energy and Mineral Resources Minister while Kodwa moved to the Presidency as Deputy Minister responsible for the State Security Agency.

Allegations against Mantashe, Kodwa cited

During a question-and-answer session in Parliament on Friday (3 September), EFF MP Khanya Ceza cited allegations that Mantashe and Kodwa benefitted from companies that are facing corruption investigations.

“Mr President, you rightfully removed Dr Zweli Mkhize from the Cabinet after allegations were made that he corruptly gave a contract worth millions to his buddies,” Ceza asked Ramaphosa.

“If you are indeed serious about corruption and your approach to eliminating corruption is not factional, why have you kept Minister Mantashe in your Cabinet despite revelations that he illicitly benefitted from Bosasa?

“And why is Zizi Kodwa still a Deputy Minister despite revelations at the Zondo Commission that he is also a beneficiary of corruption?”

‘Straightforward answers’

In response, Ramaphosa said, “The issues that have been raised around Minister Gwede Mantashe in relation to the issues of Bosasa have been dealt with at the state capture commission. [They] have been fully explained and articulated by none other than the Minister himself, and he explained the circumstances.

“In relation to Deputy Minister Zizi Kodwa, the same thing happened. He did get occasion to go to the commission and answered the various questions that have to do with matters like that.

“So, the various answers that they have given are such that, in my view, were straightforward, and gave full answers to issues that may have arisen even in public.”

The President also refuted Ceza’s claim that he had “removed” former Health Minister Mkhize from the Cabinet, clarifying that Mkhize had in fact resigned.

Mantashe appeared at the Zondo Commission in March this year to explain allegations that Bosasa had paid for security installations at his properties in Gauteng and Eastern Cape. Bosasa has faced various allegations of corruption surrounding contracts it received from the state.

Kodwa also testified at the commission to explain “suspicious” payments he received from businessman Jehan Mackay, who was previously an executive of IT firm EOH that received state contracts.

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