ANC stalwarts unhappy with Zuma's Cabinet shake-up

At midnight Zuma announced his decision to sack five ministers including Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas from the Finance Ministry.

FILE: African National Congress stalwarts at a press briefing. Picture: Clement Manyathela/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) stalwarts have reacted to President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle, calling it a factional move.

In a statement released on Friday morning, the veterans say they believe successful ministers were targeted, while the president turned a blind eye on underperforming portfolios.

At midnight, Zuma announced his decision to sack five ministers, including Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas from the Finance Ministry.

ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe earlier said he feels very uncomfortable with the manner in which the process has unfolded, adding that the party was not properly consulted.

In a statement released this morning, the struggle stalwart say they see Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle as a move to undermine any attempts to honestly confront the crisis facing the country and the ANC.

The veterans says they are not with impressed with the way the decision was taken, adding that it shows a lack of consultation and a marginalisation of the ANC by the President.

The statement further notes serious question marks over the criteria the president used for the reshuffle.

Ministers including Bathabile Dlamini, Des Van Rooyan, Mosebenzi Zwane and Faith Muthambi have managed to secure their jobs, despite complaints from ANC leaders and alliance partners that their portfolios were under-performing.

The ANC’s Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has commented on President Jacob Zuma’s decision to fire Pravin Gordhan as Finance Minister.

Mantashe has confirmed he is not happy with the decision.

“We were given a list that was complete and my own view as the Secretary-General, I felt like this list has been developed somewhere else and it’s given to us to legitimise it.

“And my own view is that I’m very uncomfortable because areas where ministers do not perform have not been touched. Ministers have been moved and the majority of them were good performing ministers. I’m very much uncomfortable with it.”

The president has announced 20 changes to his Cabinet, with former ANC Youth League president Malusi Gigaba replacing Gordhan, while Sifiso Buthelezi will fill Jonas's position.

On Thursday, the president called a meeting with the ANC’s top six in the capital amidst speculations that he could be changing his Cabinet.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)