11 September 2017

South Africa: Analysis - Unpredictability Rules As Zuma Enters the Real Game of Risk

Photo: Government Comunication and Information System
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (file photo).

With confirmation late last week that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is becoming a Member of Parliament again, speculation is swirling that President Jacob Zuma is going to reshuffle his Cabinet in order to include her. There is a strong basis for doing this; life as a back-bencher is unlikely to be edifying for the former chair of the African Union Commission. But, so close to the ANC's conference, any move by Zuma carries risks. And any appointment of Dlamini-Zuma to a position will carry consequences, both for him and for her. At the same time, the element of unpredictability in our politics is growing stronger; it is harder to predict what any of the actors, particularly Zuma, will do. By STEPHEN GROOTES.

On Friday afternoon it was confirmed that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma would be returning to Parliament. She has been there for many years in the past, having played several ministerial roles. But she has spent no time as a backbencher. She was a Minister in Nelson Mandela's Cabinet, and went through the Health, Foreign Affairs (as it was then) and Home Affairs ministries before going to the AU. The benefit to her, and to her campaign for the ANC leadership, of just...

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