Similarities between President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle and MDC

South African President, Jacob Zuma’s recent cabinet reshuffle has angered major economy stakeholders, also known as white monopoly power, in South Africa. The fallout exposes the rift between President Zuma on the one side and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, sacked finance minister Pravin Gordhan amongst other top lieutenants of the African National Congress (ANC) on the other. This incident is de ja vue resemblance of the Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) split of 12 October 2005.


  • In 2005, the MDC fissures saw a greater number of the foreign-based donors back then Secretary General, Welshman Ncube and his MDC-N party as it then was called. MDC-N split from the larger formation led by founding MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai. In 2017, a greater number of international and South African financiers are backing Gordhan, a member of the ANC faction led by Ramaphosa. As a consequence of Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle, currency-rating agencies in the United States of America have pegged South Africa’s Rand at junk status.
  • In 2005, the media in Zimbabwe referred to a Top Six in its reference to the MDC’s management team. In 2017, the media in South Africa also refers to a Top Six of ANC leaders.
  • After the 2005 split, Welshman Ncube’s formation suffixed an “N” to the acronym MDC thus christening the party after Ncube’s surname. The most senior defector was MDC Vice President, Gibson Sibanda. In 2017, the most senior amongst disgruntled ANC cadres is Deputy President Ramaphosa. Unlike the MDC in 2005, the ANC has not split though vicious contestations for power persist.
  • The MDC Vice President, Secretary General and Treasurer General fired broadsides at Tsvangirai publicly. In 2017, the ANC Deputy President, Secretary General and Treasurer General publicly expressed their discontent with Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle.
  • While Professor Welshman Ncube publicly criticized Tsvangirai for having a humble formal education, Ramaphosa’s ANC faction and South Africa’s independent media taunt Zuma for an untraceable formal education.
  • Zimbabwe’s provinces namely Midlands, Matabeleland North and South and Bulawayo were prior to the 2008 elections touted as MDC-N strongholds. Ramaphosa’s faction in the ANC claims Gauteng as its stronghold. South Africa’s industrial city, Johannesburg, is in Gauteng Province.
  • In 2005, loyalists accused their MDC opponents of conspiring with then South African President, Thabo Mbeki to topple Tsvangirai and split the party. In 2017, Ramaphosa and a few others voice concern over a much-talked-about intelligence report, which alleges Gordhan conspired with white monopoly capital to topple President Jacob Zuma and destroy ANC.

Post published in: Africa News

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