MECs’ future in doubt

2016-05-25 13:01
KZN Premier, Senzo Mchunu

KZN Premier, Senzo Mchunu (File)

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Pietermaritzburg - Mystery surrounds the future of four of the province’s MECs ahead of an anticipated provincial cabinet reshuffle.

The Witness was reliably informed that all the provincial MECs were summoned to the ANC provincial headquarters yesterday.

Education MEC Peggy Nkonyeni, Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu, Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Cyril Xaba and Arts and Culture MEC Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha are all understood to be out of favour.

The ANC Youth League had to cancel a press briefing they had called at the eleventh hour yesterday to attend the meeting at the provincial offices.

It was unknown late yesterday what the outcome of this meeting was.

On Monday, the league had called on its mother body to “beef up” the provincial executive by deploying former leaders of the ANCYL to the cabinet.

It mentioned Sihle Zikalala, Mthandeni Dlungwane, Mxolisi Kaunda, Nomagugu Simelane, Nontembeko Boyce and Bongi Sithole.

Coincidently, five of those names have been tipped to replace the four MECs who are now believed to be on the political chopping block and the post of MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu, tipped to be the new premier.

Meanwhile, it now appears that former premier Senzo Mchunu will snub the ANC’s offer to redeploy him in the National Assembly.

In a statement when he announced his resignation on Monday, Mchunu said he would “respond in writing on the issue of redeployment”, and had not given an indication on whether he will accept the offer or not.

However, a source close to Mchunu yesterday said the former premier would decline the offer, but this could not be confirmed.

“As I am talking to you now, he is writing a letter to tell them that he is not going to Cape Town,” said the close source, who did not want to be named.

“He raised reservations with the manner in which the position was offered to him. Their approach is like they are giving this job to someone who is hungry. It is like they are giving food to a beggar, but not in a dignified manner. It is like just throwing the food at the beggar,” said the source.

It is still not clear whether Mchunu was going to be given a ministerial job in the National Assembly or if he would be an ordinary MP.

Mchunu was expected to take up the seat previously occupied by former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene in the National Assembly, who resigned as an ordinary MP in February this year.

When Mchunu announced his resignation at his Empangeni home on Monday, he had said six allegations had been levelled against him, which subsequently led to the provincial executive committee asking him to resign.

The ANC refused to divulge any information or comment on the allegations, with chairperson Sihle Zikalala describing the allegations as “irrelevant”.

However, now it appears that Mchunu had been charged for “bringing the party into disrepute” and was accused of running parallel programmes that are against the ANC.

Mchunu’s governance was also said not to be stable.

He was also accused of interfering with the work of the offices of Social Development MEC Weziwe Thusi and Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu.

Insiders said at some point Thusi had broken down during the meeting on Friday where Mchunu was told to leave the premier post, while she was explaining how Mchunu was “interfering” with her work.

Mchunu was accused of not attending the party’s mandate meeting and of bloating the staff at the office of the premier from 300 to 500.


Read more on:    senzo mchunu  |  pietermaritzburg  |  mec

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