Urgent reshuffle in Northern Cape cabinet

2017-05-10 18:32
Northern Cape premier Sylvia Lucas. (File, Emile Hendricks, Netwerk24)

Northern Cape premier Sylvia Lucas. (File, Emile Hendricks, Netwerk24)

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Northern Cape - An urgent cabinet reshuffle was announced at the Northern Cape Premier's office on Wednesday ahead of a tumultuous African National Congress provincial conference, which is expected to take place at the weekend.

The ANC has since said in a statement that they have noted the reshuffle with "absolute disgust" and have threatened that there would be "consequences".

Word spread that ANC provincial chairperson hopeful Sylvia Lucas, who is the premier and provincial ANC treasurer would reshuffle her cabinet at 15:00.

It was later announced that the following people would serve in new positions:

  • MEC for Economic Development, Finance and Treasury Gail Parker,
  • MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison Sandra Beukes,
  • MEC for Public Works Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba
  • New MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture Mxolisi Sokatsha

Meanwhile former Finance MEC Mac Jack and former MEC Pauline Williams have been removed.

Lucas supporters have failed in several attempts to block the ANC provincial conference from taking place. They have gone so far as to threaten court action however the ANC top six have refused to postpone the conference yet again.

'Very suspect'

Lucas is expected to present the report by the national Luthuli house audit team to conference.

It is believed that Lucas purged MECs loyal to contender Zamani Saul who is currently the provincial secretary.

Lucas did not take calls to clarify this matter.

"It lasted five minutes and no questions were allowed," a source told News24 of the briefing.

Meanwhile, the ANC has issued a damning statement against the move.

"We want to put it on record that the ANC was not consulted and we do not know anything about this reshuffling. This was done in total disregard of the ANC internal processes, which require thorough consultation with both the ANC and the alliance partners. We therefore do not take kind to this conduct by the premier and definitely there will be consequences."

It said that it was "very suspect" that the reshuffling happened a day before registration was due to open for the 8th Provincial Conference.

"We also want to put it on record that the reshuffling has got nothing to do with improving service delivery but has everything [to do with] [influencing] the outcome of [the] conference. This is grossly irresponsible, reckless and self-serving. This tact is fallacious and deeply entangles the provincial government in the organisational politics of the ANC."

The conference will take place in Colesburg.

Meanwhile this reporter was barred from attending the press briefing where the brief announcement was made over allegations relating to a valid press card.

The press card in the owner's possession was, however, valid despite demands by a spokesperson at the press briefing to see "bona fide accreditation". Security then escorted this reporter out of the building.

Read more on:    anc  |  sylvia lucas  |  kimberley  |  politics

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