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Premier Mabuza hits back at ANC leaders critical of Cabinet shake-up

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza is not pleased with the ANC's Cyril Ramaphosa, Zweli Mkhize and Gwede Mantashe’s utterances on President Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle.

FILE: ANC deputy president greets party leader Jacob Zuma during the party's 105th birthday celebration event at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza has accused three of the African National Congress (ANC)’s top six leaders for speaking out against President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle, saying they’re ill-disciplined and must remember they are not presidents.

Mabuza was speaking at an ANC rally in Mpumalanga on Sunday.

“You can’t hang your dirty linens out there. Whom are you trying to appease?”

Mabuza is not pleased with ANC deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize and secretary-general Gwede Mantashe’s utterances on Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle.

“I don’t think they’re setting a good example. We’re working hard here on the ground to unite the ANC and I see they’re working hard to divide the ANC.”

Mabuza says if the three leaders have unresolved issues they must discuss them within ANC structures.

“It’s not interesting to hear them differing in public, it doesn’t make us [look] good, it doesn’t.”

On Sunday, ANC chair Baleka Mbete also criticised them, saying party members don’t appreciate it when leaders speak in different voices.

Meanwhile, NEC member Tito Mboweni has tweeted that he call for a special meeting with the committee to discuss recent developments.

ZUMA UNFAZED BY CRITICS

Meanwhile, also over the weekend Zuma was in Pietermaritzburg where it appears the leader of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikilalala gave him his support.

The audience here seemed unfazed by Zuma’s recent Cabinet reshuffle and instead sang his praises after launching the biggest housing project in the country.

Analysts have often commented on how the president usually goes to his home province when facing political challenges.

But Zikalala, who was speaking in his capacity as acting KwaZulu-Natal premier, says leaders must know that their tenure is never everlasting.

The president was joined by Mkhize, who had earlier released a statement saying the unorthodox manner in which Zuma reshuffled his Cabinet did not afford the top six the chance to give their input, which indicates that the party is no longer the political centre.

ZWELI MKHIZE NOT HAPPY

Mkhize says he’s concerned about the process followed and the manner in which this Cabinet reshuffle was done.

He says this consultation process is to allow the leadership to take collective responsibility for decisions that are made.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa also has concerns.

“My strong objection to the removal of the Minister of Finance and his deputy is being based on spurious allegations.”

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe says he feels uncomfortable about these developments.

“We were given a list that was complete, this list has been developed somewhere else.”

The reshuffle has sparked a face-off between half of the ANC’s top six and Zuma who have distanced themselves from his choices and the revolt may intensify this week with a number of demonstrations planned.