Cape Town – The Presidency has denied reports that a special Cabinet meeting was called by President Jacob Zuma in Parliament on Tuesday.
Speculation was rife that Zuma had called a meeting of his Cabinet, just two days before possibly his last State of the Nation Address.
A dozen ministerial cars and Presidential Protection Services vehicles were seen outside Tuynhuys in the Parliamentary precinct.
Presidency spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said it was only a meeting of select Cabinet committees, as part of “scheduled meetings” due to take place this week.
“It is not a special Cabinet meeting. It is a meeting of Cabinet committees that take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday [this week],” he told News24.
“What happens is, there are Cabinet committee meetings that make recommendations to the full Cabinet at the formal meeting. That meeting takes place next Wednesday.
“This week is a meeting of Cabinet committees and next week will be a full Cabinet.”
‘Scheduled a long time ago’
Cabinet itself meets twice a month. The two other weeks are meetings of Cabinet committees, he continued.
The committees are divided into clusters, comprising either economics portfolios, governance and administration, social portfolios, justice, peace and security ministers, and international relations.
Tuesday’s meeting was a meeting of the governance and administration cluster.
On Wednesday, the international relations cluster would meet, and on Thursday it would be justice, peace and security.
Deputy ministers were present at Cabinet committee meetings, but not full Cabinet meetings, Ngqulunga added.
“They were scheduled a long time ago and were always on the agenda.”
Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane also said reports of a special Cabinet meeting were not true.
“Only ministers who are part of the committees that meet… are attending,” she told News24.
“It’s governance committee meeting today. I’m not even there, I’m at a function.”