Nqakula quits as his wife faces axe

Johannesburg – Former safety and security minister Charles Nqakula has quit his job as President Cyril Ramaphosa’s national security adviser, amid swirling speculation that the president is set to reshuffle his wife, Nosiviwe, from the cabinet.

Ramaphosa appointed Nqakula, a former general secretary of the SACP who replaced the party’s slain leader Chris Hani, in June 2018.

Acting presidential spokesperson Tyrone Seale confirmed Nqakula’s resignation, saying the former minister had stated “personal reasons”.

“Mr Nqakula has stepped back from full-time employment for personal reasons, but has indicated his willingness to continue providing advisery support to the president. A vacancy has not arisen, as the appointment of advisors is a prerogative of the president,” said Seale.

“In acceding to Mr Nqakula’s request, the president has expressed his deep appreciation to Mr Nqakula for his distinguished service to government since 1994.

“He has held numerous positions of leadership, including in the national executive. The president wishes him well.”

Nqakula has served as a deputy minister of home affairs (January 2001 to May 2002), minister of safety and security (May 2002 to September 2008) and parliamentary counsellor to former president Thabo Mbeki.

He is also the former chairperson of parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence.

Sunday World reported that those facing a reshuffle include Mapisa-Nqakula, who is Defence and Military Vetarans, State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

Mapisa-Nqakula’s relationship with Ramaphosa soured when the president docked her salary for three months after it emerged that she had given an ANC delegation a “lift ” on an SANDF jet to meet their Zanu-PF counterparts in Zimbabwe in September.

But sources close to the family said Nqakula’s resignation was not linked to the fallout between his wife and Ramaphosa, saying the former safety and security minister had taken ill.

Ramaphosa faces a tough task of ensuring that he keeps his promise of gender parity when he reshuffles his national executive. It is expected that he will announce a new team as soon as ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule is out of office.

The ANC’s NEC is meeting to discuss Magashule’s defiance of his suspension, among other issues.

A strong push is expected for the party to charge Magashule with bringing the ANC into disrepute, after he suspended Ramaphosa, an offence that could lead to his expulsion.

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Sunday World


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