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Presidency clarifies position of President's advisors

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The Presidency has noted media reports and received media enquiries regarding the positions of some of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s advisers. With respect to the individuals about whom information has been sought: 

1. Ms Trudi Makhaya

Ms Trudi Makhaya completed her five year tenure and left her position as economic adviser to President Cyril Ramaphosa on 30 April 2023. 

Since her appointment in April 2018, Ms Makhaya has helped to craft the administration's key economic policy initiatives on structural reform, post-pandemic economic recovery and the just transition. She led the technical steering committee that engaged with investors and coordinated the country’s flagship investment gathering, the South Africa Investment Conference. Ms Makhaya served as South Africa’s G20 Sherpa since 2019.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has thanked Ms Makhaya for her contribution over the past five years: “Trudi’s steady counsel contributed to the evolution of economic policy making since 2018 as government steered the economy through daunting economic headwinds whilst building the case for investment and growth. We wish her all the best as she embarks on a new chapter in her career.”

The President is in the process of appointing a new Economic Adviser.  

2. Ms Maropene Ramokgopa

Ms Maropene Ramokgopa served as International Adviser to President Ramaphosa until her election as the Second Deputy Secretary General of the African National Congress in December 2022. She has subsequently become a Member of Parliament and was appointed as Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. 

3. Mr Bejani Chauke

Mr Bejani Chauke left his position as Political Adviser to President Cyril Ramaphosa in February 2023. He continues to serve The Presidency as a special envoy for strategic relations and investment in a voluntary capacity.  

4. Adv Nokukhanya Jele

Adv Nokukhanya Jele is the Legal Adviser to President Ramaphosa.

Adv Jele has been appointed as gratis personnel type 2 to the United Nations, supporting Adv Mojanku Gumbi in her role as Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Racism. This level of appointment serves as a donation or secondment from the South African Government to the United Nations of Adv Jele’s time as an expert in the relevant field work required. It is limited to one day a week until December 2023. It is common global practice for countries to second their personnel to the United Nations. The secondment bears no costs to The Presidency. She continues to perform her role as Legal Adviser to the President.  

5. Mr Steyn Speed

Mr Steyn Speed is the Political Adviser to the President. 

Due to family commitments, he is based abroad for a temporary period while continuing to perform his role as adviser.  

Allegations of conflict within The Presidency

The Presidency has also noted unsubstantiated claims of a conflict between Director-General in The Presidency, Ms Phindile Baleni, and the Chief of Staff in the Office of the President, Ms Roshene Singh. The two officials enjoy a positive, constructive and warm working relationship.

The Presidency similarly dismisses claims that Ms Baleni is considering leaving her position as Director-General. Ms Baleni recently had her contract extended by another five years and has indicated her firm intention to serve out her contract.

Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to President Ramaphosa – 082 835 6315
Issued by: The Presidency