26 May 2019

South Africa: Ramaphosa Mulls His Options - and It's Complicated (Legally/Politically)

Photo: GCIS/Flickr
President Cyril Ramaphosa being sworn into office by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on May 25, 2019.

President Cyril Ramaphosa didn't announce his Cabinet as was widely expected on Sunday, nor will he announce it on Monday. Instead, the presidency said it would happen later in the week, date unknown. It's uncharted waters.

Officially, there is no crisis. But even on this account, it is unprecedented that a day after assuming office the new president of South Africa has neither announced a Cabinet, nor indicated a firm time and date on which such an announcement would be made.

Sunday's confirmed delay in the Cabinet announcement has come in the wake of governing ANC ructions, including Deputy President David "DD" Mabuza's decision not to be sworn in as one of the 400 MPs on Wednesday pending answering allegations before the ANC integrity commission.

And it interrupted the flow of an up to now adhered to timeline on a widely circulated document under the ANC logo, which had the Cabinet announcement on Sunday or Monday, followed by the swearing-in of ministers and then into an ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) lekgotla from 31 May. Separately, Daily Maverick has reliably learnt Sunday had been set aside for consultations and individuals being called in.

Sunday's presidency statement said, "the (Cabinet) announcement...

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