PERSONAL vendettas will not be allowed to get in the way of the Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism serving the public to the best of its abilities.
This is according to freshly reinstated MEC Mac Jack, who was sworn in, together with Pauline Williams, who is once again the MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, in the Northern Cape High Court yesterday.
Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas reshuffled her cabinet, resulting in the MECs being axed, the day before last month’s ANC provincial elective conference in Colesberg.
Their portfolios were taken over by Gail Parker and Alexandra Beukes respectively, both of whom were staunch backers of the premier in her bid to be the party’s new provincial chair.
In contrast, Williams and Jack placed their support behind then ANC provincial secretary Zamani Saul, with Jack serving as Saul’s chief lobbyist in his successful effort to take the party’s leadership position in the Northern Cape.
The reshuffle also saw Mxolisi Sokatsha made MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture and Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba appointed as MEC for Roads and Public Works.
While Jack maintains that his dismissal was a personal attack against him, he said yesterday that he would not allow his axing, and subsequent reinstatement, to sour his working relationship with the premier or the rest of the provincial government.
“On May 10, I said that my dismissal had nothing to do with my job,” Jack said at a press conference shortly after he was sworn in yesterday.
“I was supposed to have been evaluated in accordance with the proper process.
“I was supposed to have submitted reports stating ‘here are my strengths and weaknesses’. This was not done and I’m still of the same opinion that I was then.
“This is a matter that is supposed to be calling for a serious investigation but I’m still waiting for reports in order to start this process.
“I wish to emphasise my commitment to fighting fraud and corruption in all its forms.
“I’m still of the opinion that this was a personal thing. However, the conference is over now and the ANC must continue with its work to unite the people of the Northern Cape and I am willing to engage on this matter at any time.”
Jack added that he still expected to enjoy an amicable working relationship with Lucas and doubted that recent events would have a negative impact on their ability to collaborate when performing their official duties.
“I never had a professional falling out with the premier,” he emphasised.
“Therefore, I don’t think our relationship is compromised.
“I’m ready to work with the premier. I’m expecting a call from her at any moment so we can engage on a personal basis in terms of the way forward.
“I can’t compromise the responsibility that was given to us by the ANC,” Jack added
“The day-to-day operations of the department continued unabated during the entire time,” added spokesperson for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Patsy Alley.
“Government structures are guided by their specific mandates and accounting systems, and as such the work of any department does not come to a standstill when periodic political change occurs.”
Meanwhile, spokesperson for the ANC in the Northern Cape, Naledi Gaosekwe, said that the party welcomed the reinstatement of Jack and Williams ahead of this weekend’s Provincial General Council, adding that the reshuffle and subsequent reinstatements had little detrimental impact on the way the party has functioned in recent weeks.
“The ANC held very successful Special Regional General Councils (RGC) throughout the Province, where the newly elected Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) presented their programme to branch members,” Gaosekwe said yesterday.
“The special RGCs also served as a build-up towards the Provincial General Council that will take place this Saturday. Therefore, political work has been ongoing.
“All that we wanted to see happening was the rescinding of the reshuffle and that all those who were reshuffled go back to their positions as deployed by the African National Congress through consultation with the alliance.”
“Comrade Gail Parker will go back to being the chief whip of the ANC in the legislature and comrade Beukes will be an ordinary MPL at the legislature. This is where the ANC deployed the comrades,” Gaosekwe stated.