Zuma’s midnight Cabinet reshuffle: Who said what
There was widespread and mixed reaction on Friday to President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet changes, which included the firing of five ministers.
“If anyone doesn't want us to do this job, tell us not to do this job. Don't manufacture things that undermine our integrity… Our souls are not for sale. Our brown bags are for carrying clothes. We don't need anyone's brown bags.”
– Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan
“This is the full destruction of the country, everything is being captured with only one intention, to deliver South Africa into a capitalist, kleptocratic order where there will be no accountability and where the political hyenas will eat almost freely without paying any consequences.”
– Former Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi
“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.”
– ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe
"I am relieved that I have been removed. The country is at a crossroads."
– Former Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi
“We applaud the President for being cognisant of the ANC's gender parity policy… The cabinet reshuffle will enhance efficiency in government. It is a bold move towards radical socio-economic transformation.”
– ANC Women’s League statement
“Zuma is drunk with power and he is also a very vindictive person. He has never accepted that he was wrong after he fired Nhlanhla Nene as Finance Minister. He has said so several times.”
– Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille
"Ignorance can be educated but there is no cure for recklessness. The president's decisions are a frightening example of a leader who has continually shown his profound indifference to the economic health of South Africa. It is telling that he failed to secure agreement to this reckless move even from within his own party and the ruling alliance."
– Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba
“The ANC Youth League is excited, happy, overjoyed and jubilant at the announcement by President Jacob Zuma on the cabinet reshuffle.”
– ANC Youth League statement
“I disagree with the removal of Gordhan and Jonas based on a suspect intelligence report... They will never sell their soul and country to foreign forces. That is plain rubbish. Their crime is their incorruptibility. Their other crime is defence and protection of our public purse with the highest levels of integrity and morality. We stand with them.”
– ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu
"This is not an assault on Treasury, it is an assault on the country and the values we stand for… This is an important time for South Africa and South Africans. Events happening are probably contrary to dream of a new South Africans. South Africans must wake up and smell the coffee.”
– Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas
“It is very clear Zuma no longer cares for the people of South Africa… As Ahmed Kathrada expressed, the right thing for Jacob Zuma to do is step down.”
– DA leader Mmusi Maimane
"Quite clearly South Africans need to take action against the possibility of the looting of the Treasury, which comrade Pravin Gordhan has done an excellent job [preventing]."
– SACP second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila
“The way the decision was apparently taken and the lack of consultation also shows a marginalisation of the ANC by the president. As stalwarts, we cannot allow the ANC to become marginal to the affairs of the country.”
– ANC stalwart Wally Serote
“We believe the ANC will not be saved… You take us to jail or you take Zuma to jail (today)."
– Activist Zackie Achmat
"We may not agree with the president on the choices he has made, but ours is to rally behind these ministers and support them. We expect [Malusi Gigaba] to understand that National Treasury is the citadel of our economy and [we] will safeguard it from any looting and corruption!”
– ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte