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SACP: Davies could be cut in imminent ‘Gupta-inspired reshuffle’

The party claims a new ANC MP and business person would replace Rob Davies.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. Picture: AFP/Toshifumi Kitamura.

JOAHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP) says it believes that what it calls another Gupta-inspired Cabinet reshuffle, in which Rob Davies would be removed from the position of trade and industry minister is imminent.

The party claims that a new African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament (MP) and business person would replace Davies.

It says the reason for this move is because the Gupta family want to buy a stake in iron-ore producer ArcelorMittal, and Davies is setting tough price conditions in that industry.

The SACP is also calling for a judicial commission of inquiry into corporate state capture.

The party's second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila says the Gupta family need to be stopped.

"We think it's completely unfair that despite all of these things, they continue to move forward as if nothing has happened. We really believe that immediate action needs to be taken."

WAS JONAS RIGHT OR WRONG? ALLIANCE MEMBERS DIVIDED

It appears battle lines are being drawn, among members of the alliance, around the Gupta-Zuma issue as the SACP is defending the Deputy Finance Minister, but the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) and the Mkhontho we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) are slamming him.

The SACP second Deputy General Secretary Mapiala says Mcebisi Jonas did the right thing.

"There should be no way in which he is intimidated or ill-treated; in fact, we want to call for his immediate protection."

But the ANCYL's nMondli Mkhize says Jonas was wrong to go public.

"He does this thing two to three days before the National Executive Council meeting of the ANC, which suggests that a person who claims high moral ground on this matter might not be that innocent after all."

MKMVA leader Kebby Maphatsoe says Jonas lied to him about this issue on a plane trip last week.

"He has been dishonest. When he got this information, he was supposed to have gone to the ANC officials and report the Guptas to the ANC."

The different views on this suggest the alliance is split on the Gupta issue.

Mapiala adds that the Guptas must be stopped.

"We really believe that immediate action needs to be taken, and if the president doesn't show respect to the ANC, it has the right to recall him."

This means tomorrow's ANC NEC meeting could lead to intense discussions on this issue.

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