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DA dismissive of Zuma's cabinet reshuffle

17 October 2017 - 13:37 By Theto Mahlakoana
President Jacob Zuma. File photo.
President Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Image: David Harrison

The DA says President Jacob Zuma's latest cabinet reshuffle did not come as a surprise‚ as it was clear that he is at war with anyone who opposes state capture and fails to toe "the Zuma line".

In a surprise move‚ Zuma announced his second cabinet reshuffle this year‚ firing former Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande‚ who is also the SACP General Secretary. Nzimande's party has long called for Zuma’s resignation‚ saying he is responsible for the mass-scale corruption witnessed in government.

In a statement‚ the DA said the reshuffle was not intended at effecting good governance or ensuring that the best people served the country.

"Jacob Zuma appears to be firing his critics and offering promotions in exchange for support ahead of the ANC's elective conference in December this year‚" said the party. It also suggested that the SACP should tear itself away from the ANC‚ as it had been dealt an "insulting blow".

"They must now decide how long they will put up with this abuse – or if they will now do what they know is right‚ and begin to work outside the ANC‚" said the DA. The SACP has been exploring the possibility of contesting elections on its own‚ a decision believed to be weighing heavily on the outcome of the ANC elective conference in December.

Nzimande was replaced with former Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize.

Zuma also moved Energy Minister Mmamaloko Kubayi to the communications portfolio‚ and replaced her with former State Security Minister David Mahlobo as head of energy. Little-known Mpumalanga MP Bongani Thomas Bongo was appointed State Security Minister.

The DA said the reshuffle affirmed its stance that the ANC was only committed to self-enrichment.

"Blade's axing has also provided the pretext for yet another reshuffling of Zuma sycophants‚ none more pliant than new Minister of Energy‚ David Mahlobo. This smacks of an attempt to reignite the ANC’s efforts to chain our country to a multibillion-rand nuclear deal with the Russians‚" the party alleged.