Mpumalanga cabinet reshuffle shows demise of Mabuza allies, says the DA
The DA on Wednesday said it believed the reshuffling of the Mpumalanga cabinet was a clear reflection of the political factions at play in the province.
“It is clear that the Refilwe (Mtshweni-Tsipane] faction is gaining strength against the [David] Mabuza faction, however whatever the battles within the ANC, the DA in Mpumalanga will continue to hold the executive to account. Ultimately the people of the province must come above ANC petty politics,” said Jane Sithole, the DA Mpumalanga provincial leader.
Announcing the changes, Mtshweni-Tsipane said they were made in a bid to appoint hard-working and honest people to the positions.
“I have decided to reconfigure the executive council taking a number of considerations into account, key among which include members who embody commitment, hard work, integrity and the non-negotiable commitment to bettering the lives of our people,” she said.
She fired Gabisile Tshabalala as MEC of community safety, security and liaison, Norah Mahlangu from human settlements, Pat Ngomane who was the MEC of finance and Gillion Mashego who headed public works.
“The new members of the executive council are honourable Speedy Mashilo who will be responsible for the department of human settlements; honourable Busisiwe Shiba who will be responsible for the department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs; honourable Vusi Mkhatshwa who will be responsible for finance, economic development and tourism; and honourable Mohita Latchminarain who will be responsible for the department of public works, roads and transport.
“The following MECs will be moved from their incumbent portfolios to new portfolios: MEC Vusi Shongwe will be responsible for the department of community safety, security and liaison; MEC Thandi Shongwe will be responsible for the department of culture, sport and recreation; MEC Mandla Msibi will be responsible for the Department of Agriculture, rural development, land and environmental affairs; while MEC Lindiwe Ntshalintshali will be responsible for the department of social development,” said Mtshweni-Tsipane.
She said the new MECs should perform their duties or risk being removed.
“The performance of the newly constituted executive will be monitored against specific outcomes and where there is non-performance, decisive action will be taken,” she said.
But the DA said the booting out of Ngomane and Mashego were a ploy to oust all of Mabuza’s allies.
At one point, Ngomane had been tipped as the front-runner to replace Mabuza as Mpumalanga premier.
On the removal of Ngomane and Mashego from the executive council, the DA said: “We are pleased by the removal of Ngomane as MEC of finance, economic development and tourism as he failed to promote economic growth and tourism in the province. We are also pleased that the premier has finally heeded the DA’s calls to remove Mashego — he brought both the departments of Health and public works to their knees.
“The premier has clearly played her cards very carefully by moving Vusi Shongwe back to community safety, security and liaison from agriculture.”
The party hailed the appointment of Mohita Latchminarain as the MEC of public works, roads and transport.
“We have witnessed Latchminarain being firm in her portfolio committees and hope that she will continue to maintain her vigour in this position as an MEC and that she will fix the dilapidated department.”