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Mkhize: ANC leadership must seriously evaluate Cabinet reshuffle

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

FILE: ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize says the party’s leadership needs to seriously evaluate the recent Cabinet reshuffle and express a collective view to these developments as there could be undesirable consequences for the ANC.

Mkhize is one of three of the ANC’s top six who has come forward expressing his concern about President Jacob Zuma’s decision to axe Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and others in a late night Cabinet reshuffle last week.

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

Mkhize says that while he does not want to undermine the prerogative of Zuma in making Cabinet decisions, unlike previous consultations, the briefing by Zuma this time left what he calls the distinct impression that the ANC is no longer the centre.

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.

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.

ANC MEMBERS NOT HAPPY

ANC National Chairperson Baleka Mbete has declined to state whether she agrees with Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle, saying she is yet to be briefed on the details.

But she appeared to speak against the leaders who have spoken out, saying ANC members are unhappy with party leaders speaking in different voices.

Mbete briefed the media earlier on Sunday after arriving from Bangladesh.

She cut short her working trip after her office received several submissions by opposition parties asking her to urgently convene a sitting of the National Assembly for a motion of no confidence in the President.

Over the past few days, four members of the ruling party’s top six have indicated their unhappiness with how Zuma’s reshuffled his Cabinet, where Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas were axed.

Instead, Mbete seems to be unhappy with how some members of the top six have spoken out.

“Our people always express disquiet and unhappiness about us differing in public.’

She said the unhappiness around the Cabinet reshuffle will be discussed at Monday’s national working committee, adding that after that meeting the party will speak in an organised voice.

Meanwhile, the ANC said it wants to strengthen its communication capacity as it’s currently not effectively sending the right messages.

ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu addressed the media as part of the party’s regular discussions on its policy documents.

Mthembu said the main objective of the document is to effectively reposition the ruling party by being more pro-active in a contested communications environment.

“We think we are found wanting in terms of how we communicate as the executive arm of the state; but also not only the executive arm, even the legislative arm of the state.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)