Ramaphosa Walks Tightrope in South African Cabinet Overhaul

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa treaded a fine line between his ruling party’s rival factions when he named steady hands to key cabinet posts and purged some of his predecessor Jacob Zuma’s most ineffectual appointees.

While keeping a handful of Zuma loyalists in largely minor positions, Ramaphosa brought back as finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, who Zuma replaced in late 2015 in a decision that caused chaos in the markets. Pravin Gordhan, who won over investors during two stints in the same job before running afoul of Zuma, will oversee the six of the biggest state companies that are mostly financially strapped and mired in graft allegations.

Yet Ramaphosa’s tenuous hold over the African National Congress constrained his ability to appoint a cabinet entirely of his…

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