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Another reshuffle on the cards

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It is uncertain at the stage who fill face the chop but it seems likely that only those MEC loyal to the current leadership will retain their posts

RESOLUTION: Another provincial cabinet shake-up is anticipated following a resolution taken at the Northern Cape ANCs mid-year lekgotla yesterday to place the partys top five provincial officials into strategic government positions. ANC provincial chairperson, Zamani Saul, pointed out yesterday that it is the first time since the ANC came into power in 1994 that the entire top five in the party were not occupying provincial cabinet positions. Picture: Soraya Crowie

ANOTHER provincial cabinet shake-up is anticipated following a resolution taken at the Northern Cape ANC’s mid-year lekgotla yesterday to place the party’s top five provincial officials into strategic government positions.

ANC provincial chairperson, Zamani Saul, pointed out yesterday that it is the first time since the ANC came into power in 1994 that the entire top five in the party were not occupying provincial cabinet positions.

“We need to make honest reflections on the implications that this has on the work of provincial government,” said Saul.

While it is uncertain at this stage who will face the chop, it can be expected that only those MECs who are loyal to the current leadership will retain their posts.

Saul also pointed out that it was not the premier but the ANC that the people had voted into power.

“There is not a single mayor in the country who appeared on the ballot papers. The people of the Northern Cape never voted for Sylvia Lucas to be premier, they voted for the ANC. The ANC within its own rights found it fit to deploy her to be the premier of the Province.”

Lucas came under fire earlier this year for initially disobeying orders to reverse her controversial cabinet reshuffle, which she had executed shortly before the ANC provincial elective conference in May.

ANC sources did not exclude the possibility of Saul being appointed premier.

Saul yesterday made it clear that “the honeymoon was now over” and urged any member who disagreed with the ANC or its processes to resign.

“In whatever we do, we must avoid disunity within our ranks. To address the current challenges confronting the movement we need an organisation that is characterised by internal cohesion. Disunity will polarise our movement, and nobody will benefit from such an outcome,” said Saul.

He stated that it was necessary to resolve conflicts between provincial government and the ruling party.

“It is the ANC and not government that is the centre of power. You cannot have two centres of power.

“As part of building unity within our ranks this Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) will fight post-conference purging and the dishing out of patronage. We will fight the targeting of comrades because of the views or leadership preferences they held leading up to the 8th provincial conference.”

Saul also expressed the Province’s “unflinchingly and unwavering” support for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma.

“The organisation needs to be rescued from its current state of paralysis and rampant state capture. Everything around us seems to be captured, it seems as if the Independent Electoral Commission will have to be captured in order to rig the national general elections in 2019.”

He called for the immediate arrest of the Guptas.

“South Africa is becoming intolerant about what the Guptas are doing to the country. The Gupta family has classified military information and confidential cabinet minutes. This is a family whose companies were paid billions without any contractual relationship with Eskom. The conduct of this family has degraded and dragged the integrity of our movement through the mud.

“Even if this Province has to stand alone, we want to make it clear that we are on the right side of things. This is no laughing matter, we need to take the downgrading of the country by two rating agencies to sub-investment status seriously,”

Saul stated that the ANC would need to “galvanise all its forces” ahead of the 2019 national general elections.

“The 2019 elections will not be an easy election for the ANC. We must fight corruption in all its manifestations. We cannot have a government that co-exists with corruption.”

Saul added that during the last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, concern was raised regarding the “Gupta leaks”, which implicated senior leaders of the ANC.

He called for strict discipline to be instituted to regain and reclaim the integrity of the party, which has been battered by allegations of corruption.

“We have emerged from a divisive conference. The danger to avoid at all costs is disunity. If we pursue that track, I foresee major difficulties as we move towards the 2019 general elections. The second danger we need to avoid is the hammering of the image of the ANC.”

Saul indicated that the John Taolo Gaetsewe, Frances Baard, ZF Mgcawu and Pixley ka Seme districts were instructed to hold their regional conferences from October 12 to 15.

He pointed out that while there was nothing wrong with having more than five candidates vying for the position of president, it reflected the failure of the current leadership to manage internal strife within the party.

“In our own assessment, there will be two forces in motion against each other towards the national conference. The defenders will protect the ANC from rampant corruption and restore the integrity of the movement, while the Gupta stormtroopers will engulf the state and state-owned enterprises. They see nothing wrong with the ANC losing electoral support and they believe that, by just tossing a coin, some miracle will happen that will rescue the ANC during the 2019 general elections.”