Nzimande failed to toe the Zuma line‚ just like Gordhan: Maimane
DA leader Mmusi Maimane believes SACP Secretary General Blade Nzimande was axed as Minister of Higher Education on Tuesday because he "failed to toe the Zuma line" just like former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
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 on Tuesday Maimane slammed the reshuffle‚ nut said it had not come as a surprise as it was clear that Zuma was at war with anyone who opposed state capture and failed to toe "the Zuma line".
"[It is] the latest move in Zuma’s war against anyone who opposes his project of State Capture. The obvious target was SACP leader‚ Dr Blade Nzimande‚ who follows Pravin Gordhan‚ Derek Hanekom‚ Mcebisi Jonas and others who have failed to toe the Zuma line and have found themselves out of office."
Maimane added that the SACP was dealt an insulting blow‚ and should now decide how long they would "put up with this abuse" or if the party will follow through on threats to operate outside of the ANC.
"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 statement continues.
"This reshuffle has nothing to do with effecting good governance‚ and ensuring the best people serve our country. On the contrary‚ 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."
The DA said the reshuffle 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.