Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet TBC later this week

By Amogelang Mbatha and Prinesha Naidoo

(Bloomberg) – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delayed naming the members of his new cabinet until later in the week, with his spokeswoman saying he needs more time to deliberate before finalising the line up.

Ramaphosa was sworn in as president over the weekend, marking the official start of his five-year term and setting the stage for the cabinet appointments. The announcement had been expected Sunday or Monday, but will now be a few days after that, according to a statement from his office.

The president wants more time to “apply his mind” and hold discussions with national officials of the ruling party, its alliance members and other stakeholders, his spokeswoman Khusela Diko said in an interview on SAfm radio Monday. There will be no undue delays in the announcement, she added.

Ramaphosa took office 15 months ago when the ruling African National Congress forced Jacob Zuma to step aside, though the party remains deeply divided even after outright victory in May 8 elections. That puts additional pressure on the president as he weighs candidates to make up a new cabinet, given the need to keep various factions on side.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is likely to retain his post in the new cabinet. It’s unclear, however, who Ramaphosa will name as his deputy, with incumbent David Mabuza having delayed his appointment to the legislature.

Mabuza, who’s been linked to a series of scandals but denies wrongdoing, has said he first needs to defend himself against allegations made by the ANC’s integrity committee that he brought the party into disrepute. Ramaphosa’s second-in-command must come from among the ranks of the 400-member National Assembly.

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