According to the report, Zuma is planning a cabinet reshuffle in which ministers Lulu Xingwana (minister of women, children and the disabled) and Dina Pule (minister of communications) will face the chop.
Pule’s career has been marked with a number of scandals, including the widely publicised payment of ICT Indaba funds – equating to millions of rands – to her boyfriend.
The ICT Indaba is currently subject to investigations by the Public Protector, the Auditor General and Parliament’s ethics and members’ interests committee.
Pule is understood to be already preparing for life outside government, The Sunday Times said.
Speaking to the paper anonymously, a minister in government confirmed that discussions were taking place regarding the reshuffle.
“They don’t want Lulu and Dina,” the minister was quoted as saying.
The newspaper highlighted that Pule’s home province, Mpumalanga, did not back her return to the ANC’s NEC at Manguang.
Responding to a similar report published in the Sunday Independent newspaper last week (10 February 2013), the SA government dismissed the claims that Pule would soon lose her job.
“The Presidency has noted the carefully orchestrated rumour published by most Sunday newspapers today that President [Jacob] Zuma is to relieve the Minister of Communications…of her duties and reshuffle his cabinet,” Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.
“The rumour and speculation are mischievous and will not distract government from the main activity this coming week, the State of the Nation Address by the President.”
When questioned about her impending dismissal last week (11 February 2013), Pule side-stepped the question and reiterated her mandate:
“President Jacob Zuma has given me a task to ensure that all South Africans have access to world class ICT Infrastructure, policies, broadcasting signal and post offices. We [are] moving apace to connect schools and open post offices in rural areas.”
“This is a task I take very seriously and I’ll continue to execute it until the President tells me otherwise,” Pule said.