Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
24 October 2011

Announcement by President Jacob Zuma on cabinet reshuffle and inquiries

Special announcements by President Zuma

24 October 2011

Ladies and gentlemen of the media,
Thank you for joining us today.

I have a few announcements to make. These relate to changes to the National Executive of government, the Commission of Inquiry into the Strategic Defence Procurement Packages and the matter relating to the National Police Commissioner.

I have decided to make the following changes to the National Executive.

1. Ms Dina Pule, currently the Deputy Minister for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, has been appointed Minister of Communications.
2. Mr Thembelani “Thulas” Nxesi, the Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Land Reform, will become the new Minister of Public Works. The Department will no longer have a Deputy Minister.
3. Minister Richard Baloyi, the Minister of Public Service and Administration, has been appointed Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
4. Mr Roy Padayachie, the Minister of Communications, is to take over the Public Service and Administration portfolio.
5. Mr Obed Bapela, the Deputy Minister of Communications, has been appointed Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation.
6. Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, the Deputy Minister of Public Works, will be the Deputy Minister for Women, Children and Persons with Disability.
7. Mr S. Lechesa Tsenoli, chairperson of the portfolio committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs, has been appointed as Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Land Reform.
8. ANC Member of Parliament, Ms Thembisa Stella Ndabeni, will become the Deputy Minister of Communications.

I wish all the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers well in their portfolios.

We also extend our gratitude to the Ministers and Deputy Ministers who have vacated their portfolios for their contribution to building a better life for all.

Ladies and gentlemen,

On the 15th of September I announced that I would, in terms of section 84 (2) (f) of the Constitution, appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of wrongdoing in the Strategic Defence Procurement Packages, generally known as the “arms deal”.

I have appointed the Commission. The esteemed members are as follows;

1. Honourable Mr Justice Willie Seriti, Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal.
2. Honourable Mr Justice Willem van der Merwe, Deputy Judge President of the North Gauteng High Court.
3. Honourable Mr Justice Francis Legodi, Judge of the North Gauteng High Court.

Mr Justice Seriti will chair the Commission, which is expected to complete its work within two years.

We wish Mr Justice Seriti and his team well in the execution of this important task.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Section 9 (1) read with section 8 (1) to (8) empowers the President to establish a Board of Inquiry into allegations of misconduct against the National Police Commissioner, and make findings and recommendations as contemplated in section 8(6)(b).

In August, I informed the National Commissioner, General Bheki Cele, of my intention to institute a Board of Inquiry to look into the allegations of misconduct, in relation to the procurement of office accommodation for the South African Police Service, as per the findings and recommendations of the Public Protector.

I have established the Board of Inquiry. The esteemed members are as follows;

• Ms Justice Yvonne Mokgoro (retired).
• Advocate Terry Motau (SC).
• Advocate Anthea Platt.

Ms Justice Mokgoro will chair the Board of Inquiry.

I have also decided to suspend the National Commissioner from duty with immediate effect, pending the outcome of the inquiry, in terms of section 8 (3) (a) read with Section 9 (1) of the South African Police Service Act.

He will, during the period of suspension, be entitled to his full salary, allowances, privileges and benefits, in terms of Section 8(3)(b) of the Act.

Major General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi will act as National Commissioner until further notice.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I thank you.

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