Something remains familiar in Ramaphosa’s startling new cabinet

Some ministers have been appointed for political pragmatism and short-circuiting criticism

After weeks of wondering who would be inside the tent and who would be left out in the cold, we finally know: a second tent has been bought at vast expense and stapled to the first, with three dozen extra tentlets huddled up against both for all the deputies, and a sleeping bag outside for when Patricia de Lille needs somewhere to go and have a little cry.

In some respects, Cyril Ramaphosa’s government of national unity and personal impunity represents startling change. In others, however, it remains relentlessly familiar. The decision to take higher education away from Blade Nzimande but to keep him on as minister of science, technology & innovation, for example, is vintage ANC, as he prepares to spend the next five years cutting ribbons in front of gadgets he doesn’t understand, designed by graduates of universities he did his best to wreck, paid for by people he regards as ideological enemies. ..

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