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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 April, 2004, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK
Zulu party out of SA cabinet
Inkatha Freedom Party supporters
Several people were killed in election clashes between the ANC and the IFP
The mainly Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party has left South Africa's cabinet after its leader was sacked by President Thabo Mbeki.

Mangosuthu Buthelezi's 10-year stint as home affairs minister was ended after the IFP and Mr Mbeki's African National Congress fought a fierce campaign.

The two IFP members who were named in the cabinet did not attend Thursday's swearing-in ceremony.

In the 1990s, clashes between the ANC and the IFP left thousands dead.

The violence was ended when the IFP agreed to serve in a national unity government after the end of apartheid.

Marathon meeting

The ANC gained 70% of the vote in the 14 April elections and polled the most votes in the province of KwaZulu-Natal for the first time.

The IFP had said it would contest the results in the courts but dropped its protest on Monday.

Mangosuthu Buthelezi

The decision by Musa Zondi (deputy public works minister) and Vincent Ngema (deputy sports minister) not to take up their posts immediately reportedly followed a marathon party meeting to decide how to respond to Mr Buthelezi's sacking.

Mr Mbeki then said he would look for other ministers who were willing to serve in his cabinet.

The leaders of two other parties - the successor to the ruling party under apartheid, the New National Party and the small left-wing Azanian People's Organisation were given ministerial jobs.

'Stability'

But most of the out-going team kept their portfolios, including the key ones of finance, foreign affairs, health and defence.

Deputy President Jacob Zuma, hit by corruption allegations, also retained his position.

NEW CABINET
In
Marthinus van Schalkwyk, New National Party, environmental affairs and tourism
Mosibudi Mangena, Azanian People's Organisation, science and technology
Naledi Pandor, education
Out
Mangosuthu Buthelezi, IFP
Staying on
Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, health
Trevor Manuel, finance
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, foreign affairs
Mosiuoa Lekota, defence
Jacob Zuma, deputy president
"The message the president is sending to the financial world is that roughly the same South African team they have been dealing with remains in place... It is an attempt to signal stability," said independent political analyst Steven Friedman.

In Tuesday's inauguration speech, Mr Mbeki promised his second and final term would focus on the millions of South Africans who remain in poverty.

Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang kept her position in spite of the controversies around the government's record on dealing with Aids.

South Africa has more people with HIV than any other nation on earth, and the government has been heavily criticised for not providing Aids drugs on time, and for sending confusing messages to the public about the scale of the Aids problem.

Ms Tshabalala-Msimang has suggested that those with HIV should eat beetroot and garlic.

Her reappointment has been criticised as by Aids activists.

Mr Mbeki named five new women to his government team after saying on Tuesday: "We could not speak of genuine liberation without integrating within that the emancipation of women."

There are now 22 women in the 49-strong team of ministers and their deputies.




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