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SACP: Reshuffle a declaration of war

SACP's Solly Mapaila says they believe President Jacob Zuma has specifically targeted Blade Nzimande in his Cabinet reshuffle.

SACP's Solly Mapaila (second right) and party members addressing the media after President Jacob Zuma announced changes to his Cabinet on 17 October 2017. Picture: Katleho Sekhotho/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP) says President Jacob Zuma’s latest reshuffle is a clear declaration of war against the party.

SACP's Solly Mapaila says they believe Zuma has specifically targeted Blade Nzimande.

The Higher Education and Training Minister was fired and replaced by Ayanda Dlodlo, whose communications portfolio now goes to Mmamoloko Kubayi.

“Our view is that this is not a reshuffle but a targeted removal of Comrade Nzimande 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’s not the intention, especially with the retention of so many deadwood and compromised individuals in the Cabinet.”

He says Zuma needs to re-think his strategy.

“If the president thinks that by removing Dr Nzimande from the Cabinet he will silence the SACP from the leading role it has played in exposing and confronting state capture, he is glaringly mistaken.”

After Tuesday morning’s announcement of a Cabinet reshuffle, the SACP warned the move places the tripartite alliance on “the brink of destruction”.

“Zuma’s removal of Dr Nzimande from the Cabinet without consultation with the alliance is nothing but a response to the popular call, led by the SACP and Congress of South African Trade Unions, for the president to resign.”

‘CONTINUE THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION’

The SACP has advised its members to remain in the Cabinet despite Tuesday’s reshuffle, to continue the fight against corruption.

However, the SACP says the reshuffle is a ploy to remove its leader.

Mapaila says there will be wider implications for President Zuma’s actions describing them as delusional.

“He is not dealing with people who are underperforming, laced with corruption and scandals… he’s not removing them.”

He says Zuma has retained dead wood in the Cabinet anyway.

“There was no reshuffle. The intention was to remove Comrade Nzimande.”

Mapaila says its important members remain in the Cabinet to continue representing the poor and the working class of the country.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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