Opposition reacts to Cabinet reshuffle

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa has slammed the reshuffle.

FILE: UDM leader Bantu Holomisa. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Reaction is starting to come in from opposition political parties with regards to the latest Cabinet reshuffle.

The Freedom Front Plus' Pieter Groenewald says he's surprised that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was not elevated to a Cabinet position.

He says the choice of an inexperienced candidate to lead the State Security Department is concerning.

“When it comes to the security forces and institutions in South Africa he must keep absolute control to ensure that they can be manipulated by him and do as he wished.”

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa has slammed the reshuffle.

“There should be no excitement about this reshuffling. This government has long collapsed. There’s no government in this country. They are just throwing our money away.”

National Freedom Party Chief Whip Nhlanhla Khubisa says the reshuffle is nothing more than a cosmetic change.

“These people who have been reshuffled have never settled in their previous portfolios. It’s a matter of months they’ve been in those portfolios. And there isn’t much that they’ve done. And of course, there are issues in even those portfolios.”

Cabinet reshuffle

Meanwhile, the South African Communist Party (SACP) has hit out the removal of Blade Nzimande as Higher Education Minister

“We emphatically reject these manoeuvres that place the Alliance on the brink of disintegration. Our view is that this is not a reshuffle but the targeted removal of Cde Blade as a direct attack on the SACP.”

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema says his party rejects Zuma's announcement.

“We reject the reshuffle of the national executive because it does not include the criminal suspect, Jacob Zuma. We also welcome Blade Nzimande’s removal as Higher Education Minister. Now he will have all the necessary time to go to the ground and campaign for the removal of the Zuma family in the ANC December conference.”

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has responded to Nzimande's axing by saying it’s a pity he was removed because he has "done well in education".

He says he's aware that the move will negatively affect the alliance.

“It’s a pity that Blade has been removed from that portfolio. He is a cadre of our movement, we regard him highly as the ANC. We think he is talented, he can play other roles.”

He's also told journalists at Luthuli House that the ANC was informed by the president of this latest reshuffle, rather than consulted.

The Inkatha Freedom Party's Narend Singh says the reshuffle was no surprise and neither was the axing of Nzimande.

“Although it’s the prerogative of the president to reshuffle his Cabinet, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why he’s removed Minister Nzimande. And I think what the president is doing is trying to consolidate his power moving towards conference.”

Zwelenzima Vavi, the former Congress of the South African Trade Unions head and now general secretary of new trade union federation South African Federation of Trade Unions, has slated the move.

“No longer shocked, nobody can claim to be shocked in South Africa. This is part of a very systematic programme to take us into a kleptocratic, capitalist order, a predatory state.”

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says the reshuffle is a sign of Zuma's war against anyone who opposes his project of state capture.

DA spokesperson Portia Adams says the reshuffle has nothing to do with effecting good governance.

“We know that the obvious target was outspoken critic and SACP leader Blade Nzimande who follows the likes of Pravin Gordhan, Derek Hanekom, Mcebisi Jonas and others who have failed to toe the line. President Jacob Zuma seems to be firing his critics and offering lucrative Cabinet positions to certain individuals.”