A team acting on orders from Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly met President Jacob Zuma just before his surprise cabinet reshuffle.
Several ministers were removed or transferred to new departments in the reshuffle – including David Mahlobo being made the new minister of energy.
According to the Sunday Times, Putin’s team told Zuma to “speed up and conclude a multibillion-dollar nuclear deal with Russia”.
Hours after the meeting, the cabinet reshuffle took place.
“Their visit was to deliver what many of us believe to be the final warning to the South African authorities. This group does not normally leave Russia. These are members of the military, the police, and the intelligence,” a source told the newspaper.