“It is in the past, we are not interested in the reasons. But if she claims that she consulted with the PEC, it is a lie.” Saul indicated that while the PEC had yet to decide on whether any disciplinary steps would be taken against Lucas for reshuff
THE NEWLY elected ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) said yesterday that there were no plans to remove Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas, but has ordered that the two MECs, who were axed last week, be reinstated.
ANC provincial chairman, Zamani Saul, said that the reshuffling of the cabinet should be immediately reversed.
“If she (Lucas) wants to continue with the reshuffle, she must consult the PEC, the alliance partners and Luthuli House and provide plausible reasons.”
He added that the reasons for the reshuffle were now, however, irrelevant.
“It is in the past, we are not interested in the reasons. But if she claims that she consulted with the PEC, it is a lie.”
Saul indicated that while the PEC had yet to decide on whether any disciplinary steps would be taken against Lucas for reshuffling the cabinet without consultation, there were no intentions to remove her.
“We want to make her the best performing premier in the country and this can only be achieved through having a good relationship with her. There is no fight with the premier, but we want her to play by the book.”
He explained that all ANC members were expected to abide by the rules.
“We are not here to make anyone happy, but we are here to do the work of the ANC. The premier was appointed by the PEC. We elected the premier and she must account to us. She is required to consult with the PEC regarding any decision that has major implications on the Province.”
Saul denied that R26 million was diverted from any state department to fund the ANC provincial elective conference.
“Any such suggestion is malicious and misleading. I was personally responsible for the funds that were used to convene the conference.”
Saul said that they paid service providers R1.4 million to organise and host the conference, out of their available funds of R8.3 million.
“We intend to be at the forefront of the battle against corruption.”
He, however, refused to divulge the total costs of hosting the conference. “It is not for the media to know, but we can account for every cent that went into the conference.
“We have proof of payment to our service providers if anyone wants to view it. The conference was not funded by any private individual, the ANC funded the entire event from the party political fund that was allocated to us by the Provincial Legislature.
“We are fully entitled to use these funds.”
Saul stated that he found it strange that allegations were made that funds, allocated to the Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, were channeled towards funding the conference after the Province was given the go-ahead by the PEC and the National Executive Committee (NEC) to host the conference.
“The premier was on a back foot after the party’s national structures also condemned the reshuffling. We were all caught by surprise by the allegations. Therefore we welcome the Hawks investigation into any allegation of the abuse of state funds.”
Saul was confident that any appeal regarding the integrity of the conference to the ANC NEC would not succeed.
Provincial secretary, Deshi Ngxanga, stated that the image of the ANC had been tarnished by the insinuations that state funds had been used to fund the elective conference.
“The premier has vehemently denied that she made any suggestions regarding the R26 million. She stated that she did not make these allegations, although she read about it in the media.”
Ngxanga indicated that they would investigate the source of the allegations.
“The name of the MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Mac Jack, was also sullied in the process.”
He added that they would work towards unifying the party.
“A breakdown in the relationship is not a valid reason to remove an MEC.”