Zuma’s cabi­net reshuf­fle slated for‘ desta­bil­is­ing gov­er­nance’

African Times - - Politics - KARABO NGOEPE

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma’s lat­est cabi­net reshuf­fle has been slated with mem­bers of the tri­par­tite al­liance say­ing the fre­quent reshuf­fles desta­bilise gov­ern­ment work.

ANC Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe said the shift­ing of min­is­ters who have been in their port­fo­lios for less than six months cre­ates in­sta­bil­ity in the de­part­ments.

“If you have a min­is­ter who was ap­pointed in the last reshuf­fle then three of those min­is­ters are moved around in Oc­to­ber that is a for­mula for in­sta­bil­ity and there­fore, it can’t be cor­rect,” said Man­tashe.

“I don’t want to pre­tend that I’m in the mind of the pres­i­dent but that is a major is­sue. You must ap­pre­ci­ate that there is a con­tra­dic­tion here of the party role and what the con­sti­tu­tion of the Repub­lic gives pre­rog­a­tive to the pres­i­dent to do.”

Man­tashe ad­dressed re­porters shortly af­ter Tues­day’s reshuf­fle that saw SACP leader Blade Nz­i­mande axed. Un­like the last reshuf­fle that saw Pravin Gord­han re­moved, Man­tashe con­firmed that Zuma told them of his in­ten­tions but his mind was al­ready made up and there was very lit­tle the party’s lead­er­ship could do.

“The party’s top six was in­formed. The ANC can have a par­tic­u­lar view on a mat­ter but if the pres­i­dent in­vokes his pre­rog­a­tive as given by the coun­try’s Con­sti­tu­tion, as ANC, we have lit­tle space to manoeuvre,” said Man­tashe.

He fur­ther de­scribed Nz­i­mande’s ax­ing as a pity. He said he hoped Nz­i­mande would not re­sign from Par­lia­ment be­cause of the re­moval from the higher ed­u­ca­tion port­fo­lio.

“He has done well in ed­u­ca­tion. Under his lead­er­ship, he has built three univer­si­ties. We hope he won’t re­sign from Par­lia­ment and will stay there,” Man­tashe said.

Nz­i­mande’s ax­ing was not taken kindly by his party. The move was de­scribed as a di­rect at­tack on the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Spokesper­son Alex Mashilo added that the move places the Al­liance on the brink of dis­in­te­gra­tion.

“Our view is that this is not a reshuf­fle but the tar­geted re­moval of Cde Blade as a di­rect at­tack on the SACP. Or­di­nar­ily, the aim of any cabi­net reshuf­fle must be to strengthen the ca­pac­ity of the state. But in this case that is not the in­ten­tion, es­pe­cially with the re­ten­tion of so many dead­wood and com­pro­mised in­di­vid­u­als in Cabi­net,” he said.

The SACP and Nz­i­mande have been very vo­cal over dis­sat­is­fac­tion with Zuma and Mashilo be­lieves that is what led to Nz­i­mande’s re­moval. He also re­vealed that Zuma had not con­sulted the al­liance on his de­ci­sion to once again tin­ker with his cabi­net.

“The con­tin­ued au­thor­i­tar­i­an­ism by Zuma, dis­re­gard­ing Al­liance pro­to­cols and re­la­tions, has plunged the Al­liance into un­char­tered wa­ters,” he said.

Mashilo fur­ther claimed that the reshuf­fle was to en­sure that Zuma’s pre­ferred can­di­date emerges vic­to­ri­ously from the De­cem­ber elec­tive con­fer­ence. The fron­trun­ners to re­place him are Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa and for­mer African Union chair­per­son Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She is Zuma’s pre­ferred suc­ces­sor.

“Our call for Zuma to step down is based on the many prob­lems of cor­rup­tion, gov­er­nance de­cay and state cap­ture under his watch. In ad­di­tion, the re­moval of Dr Nz­i­mande from the Cabi­net is part of Zuma’s ma­noeu­vres to se­cure suc­cess­ful elec­tion of his or­dained suc­ces­sor at the forth­com­ing ANC De­cem­ber na­tional con­fer­ence,” he said.

Cosatu spokesper­son Sizwe Pamla said they were con­sulted over the reshuf­fle but ques­tioned the fre­quency of the ac­tion.

“While we ac­knowl­edge that the pres­i­dent of the repub­lic has the pre­rog­a­tive to reshuf­fle his Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive as per the Con­sti­tu­tion of the repub­lic, we find the fre­quency of these cabi­net reshuf­fles un­set­tling be­cause they do not help to cre­ate the much-needed sta­bil­ity at a gov­ern­ment level. What com­pounds the sit­u­a­tion is that some of these gov­ern­ment de­part­ments are also wit­ness­ing an ex­o­dus of se­nior tech­nocrats,” said Pamla.

Po­lit­i­cal par­ties also weighed in on the move. EFF leader Julius Malema said the move was to set­tle po­lit­i­cal scores and tighten Zuma’s grip on power lead­ing to the De­cem­ber elec­tive con­fer­ence. He was how­ever pleased with the re­moval of Nz­i­mande.

“We re­ject the reshuf­fle of the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive be­cause it does not in­clude the crim­i­nal sus­pect, Ja­cob Zuma. We also wel­come Blade Nz­i­mande’s re­moval as Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter,” he said.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said the coun­try should not be cel­e­brat­ing the reshuf­fle. He said the move was an­other way for tax­pay­ers money to be thrown down the drain.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the reshuf­fle was Zuma’s way of deal­ing with any­one who op­poses state cap­ture.

“Min­is­ter Nz­i­mande’s ax­ing has also pro­vided the pre­text for yet an­other reshuf­fling of Zuma syco­phants, none more pli­ant than the new min­is­ter of energy David Mahlobo. This smacks of an at­tempt to reignite the ANC’s efforts to chain our coun­try to a multi-bil­lion rand nu­clear deal with the Rus­sians,” he said.

Pic­ture: Vis­ual Buzz SA

NO ROOM TO MANOEUVRE: ANC Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe.

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