Angie Motshekga’s new role: South Africans react

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the new Government of National Unity (GNU) cabinet members on Sunday evening, 30 June 2024. This comes two weeks after his inauguration for his second term as South Africa’s president. Angie Motshekga’s new role as the new Minister for Defence and Military Veterans shocked many South Africans.

President explains how he elected members of cabinet

In his address, Ramaphosa stated that he considered several factors when making a decision on whom to elect to the cabinet. He said that he had to ensure that the incoming government would be effective and that it would have people with the necessary experience, skills, and capabilities to achieve desired results.

“It is important that we deploy into positions of responsibility people who are committed, capable and hard-working, and who have integrity.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa furthermore said that the cabinet should be representative of the people of South Africa, ‘giving due consideration to gender, youth, demographics and regional distribution’.

Minister of Defence: From classroom to cover

The new cabinet will be sworn in on Tuesday 2 July 2024 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, according to the presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya.

Angie Motshekga was the former Minister of Basic Education. Ramaphosa has now appointed her as the new Minister for Defence and Military Veterans. She is replacing Thandi Modise. Bantu Holomisa and Richard Mkhungo will serve as her deputy ministers, as reported by The Citizen.

Motshekga joined politics during the years of apartheid. She was born Soweto, where she first became very active in various capacities in the struggle against apartheid.

Motshekga’s political past

After the democracy in 1994, Motshekga worked as a convener for Gender in the Office of the President. Additionally, she was a trainer in the Department of Public Service and Administration, a member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in 1999, and Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Education.

Motshekga was the MEC for Social Development in 2000 and from 2004 to 2009, she was the MEC for Education.

Angie Motshekga has been the Minister of Basic Education since 2009, being re-appointed in this role three times.

She is currently a member of the ANC National Executive Committee and the ANC National Working Committee.

The announcement of Motshekga’s new role in the cabinet came as a surprise to many South Africans and reactions were soon flying across social media. Some posts raised serious concerns, while others reacted to the news in a humorous manner.

Social media reaction
Reaction on social media

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