We won't allow Zuma to 'be treated like a lame duck' - new transport minister

2017-04-03 14:52

Pretoria – The call for mass mobilisation by axed finance minister Pravin Gordhan was highly criticised by newly sworn-in Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi during his first media briefing in Pretoria on Monday.

Maswanganyi said President Jacob Zuma did not give him reasons for the reshuffle and, unlike some within the ANC, he was not expecting reasons.

"It is uncalled for for any deployee to rally or mobilise people against the state or against the ANC. As the deployed, we know we are deployed in different responsibilities. We can be redeployed and we can also be recalled."

Maswanganyi said, when he was an MEC in Limpopo, he was reshuffled.

"I never mobilised people against the premier because I understood the mandate and prerogative of the premier. We can't allow a lame duck president who is not allowed to discharge his mandate."

Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi
Newly-appointed Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi sworn in by Justice Sisi Khampepe. (GCIS)

Gordhan proved himself the darling of the Ahmed Kathrada memorial in Johannesburg on Saturday with his self-deprecating humour, as well as scathing remarks about the current state of the government and a call to fight corruption within the ANC.

"I am unashamedly encouraging mass mobilisation," said Gordhan, who last week was axed along with his deputy Mcebisi Jonas and other ministers during a Cabinet reshuffle.

"This ANC is still our ANC," Gordhan declared to the cheers from an overflowing crowd at the Johannesburg City Hall.

Respect, decorum

Maswanganyi lambasted Gordhan and those speaking out against Zuma, including some within the top six of the ANC, saying they should respect the president's decisions.

"We won't allow that the president be treated like a lame duck. Those leaders of the ANC are best positioned to raise the matters within the structures of the ANC. We were taught by leaders who came before us that this is what we call democratic centralism.

"If a decision is taken, you have to respect that decision. If you have issues you want to raise, you follow the protocol and decorum. Every member of the ANC should respect the protocol and decorum of the ANC."

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, and treasurer general Zweli Mkhize spoke out against the reshuffle hours after the announcement by Zuma.

The three men, who form part of the party's top six leaders, said they had not been consulted, but merely informed of the Cabinet reshuffle.

Maswanganyi and his new deputy, Sindisiwe Chikhunga, would be meeting with senior officials within transport this week, he said.

He added that he did not intend on interfering with any court processes regarding Prasa and its board, which was removed last month by former transport minister Dipuo Peters.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  pravin gordhan  |  joe maswanganyi  |  pretoria  |  cabinet reshuffle  |  politics

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