Ramaphosa Appoints Cwele South African Home Affairs Minister

(Bloomberg) -- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa named Siyabonga Cwele as his home affairs minister, replacing Malusi Gigaba, who quit after he was found to have lied under oath in court.

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, who served as deputy to Cwele at the Telecommunications Ministry, becomes minister and also assumes responsibility for the communications portfolio, Ramaphosa told reporters in Pretoria, the capital, on Thursday. Nomvula Mokonyane, who was communications minister, takes over at environmental affairs in place of Edna Molewa, who died in September, he said.

Ramaphosa, 66, said the changes reflected his desire to mix experience, capability and age. While he didn’t cut any ministerial positions, he’s indicated the size of the cabinet will be trimmed after next year’s elections.

Ndabeni-Abrahams played an important role in helping Ramaphosa win control of the ruling African National Congress in December, said Melanie Verwoerd, an independent political analyst. The president took power in February when Jacob Zuma resigned and replaced several of his predecessor’s closest allies, some of whom were implicated in graft.

“This appointment strengthens his hand in cabinet with someone from a younger generation and is competent at her job,” Verwoerd said by phone from Cape Town.

While the combining of the ministerial roles may indicate there will be future mergers, it’s not clear what significance it may have, Frans Cronje, chief executive officer of the Johannesburb-based South African Institute of Race Relations, said in a emailed comments.

“We read nothing by way of significant reformist thinking into the personalities who have been shuffled and appointed,” he said.

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