Chops, additions and musical chairs
There were newsmakers on Twitter, following the cabinet reshuffle announcement by South Africa’s first citizen, President Jacob Zuma, on 9 July 2013. For more on the cabinet reshuffle news, click here. The initial newsmaker list was compiled based on the names of outgoing (Tokyo Sexwale, Dina Pule and Richard Baloyi), incoming (Connie September, Yunus Carrim and John Jeffreys) and swopped ministers (Dipuo Peters and Ben Martins). Twitter mentions for all the affected ministers were as follows:
Top 3 Twitter newsmakers of the 2013 cabinet reshuffle
Tokyo Sexwale and Dina Pule, lead the newsmaker pack by far, and trended on Twitter as a result. This was not unexpected, as the two ex-ministers have been generating a lot of Twitter buzz in the last 8 months. Included in the public discourse about them, but by a sheer coincidence, has been their love lives, albeit for completely different reasons that I shall not get into in this post. Feel free to google them if you want to know more.
Here are the tweets that were main contributors to the top 2 newsmaker spots:
Richard Baloyi completed the trio of ministers who were dropped from President Zuma’s current cabinet, and this got many netizens surprised. Well, not because Baloyi did a sterling job or due to any known scandals, but mainly because he did not appear to fit the profile of those in the President’s firing line. I suspect his name came up a distant 3rd on the Twitter newsmaker list mainly as an expression of surprise by the netizens.
Newsmakers who were not affected by the reshuffle
@ChesterMissing’s mention of Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, was not surprising. There was an outcry about Angie being left in the cabinet – including from SADTU, despite the hugely embarrassing saga of non-delivery of school text books in the Limpopo Province. Her name also trended on Twitter on the day of reshuffle announcements, and made it to the 3rd spot in the newsmakers list.
The speculation about President Zuma’s inaction relating to Angie Motshekga continues, and I’ll be sure to keep watching developments about this topic on social networks.
The other minister whose name has been prevalent in the news for all the wrong reasons lately is Tina Joemat-Peterson. While it was expected in some quarters that she was also going to face the chop from President Zuma’s cabinet, this did not happen. Unlike Angie Motshekga, Twitter mentions about Tina did not make a dent in the newsmakers list on the 9th of July.
On a closing note
Do the outcomes of my Twitter analysis match your expectations? Do the outcomes in this post support the view that bad news travels faster than good news? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.