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Why cabinet reshuffles in South Africa are bound to disappoint

By Steven Friedman, Professor of Political Studies, University of Johannesburg
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These days, there are two types of cabinet reshuffles in South Africa – those which disappoint immediately and those which keep the disappointment for later.

The cause of the disappointment is not the reshuffles themselves but the expectations which the country’s media, politicians and citizens’ organisations place on them. This fundamentally misunderstands the roles which ministers play in a democracy, making it inevitable that reality will never match their hopes.

Thanks largely to a media whose love of sensation dwarfs its interest in truth, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s…


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