Samwu: Zuma took brave step
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma's decision to sack Sicelo Shiceka and Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde as ministers was brave and showed true leadership, the SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) said on Tuesday.
"We expected nothing less from the president and he has displayed true leadership," spokesperson Tahir Sema said.
The union had called for them to be sacked ever since Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that they had acted unlawfully regarding leases for police office space.
"Workers would have never been able to co-operate with these ministers, knowing that they abused public funds," said Sema.
Local government was desperate for solutions to complex problems and Shiceka had been absent for too long, he said.
Who’s going where
As the largest local government union, Samwu looked forward to working with Richard Baloyi, who replaces Shiceka.
Communications Minister Roy Padayachie replaces Baloyi.
Deputy Minister for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Dina Pule takes over as communications minister.
Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Land Reform Thembelani (Thulas) Nxesi becomes the new minister of public works.
Zuma also suspended national police commissioner General Bheki Cele and announced that an inquiry would be held into the lease controversy.
The inquiry would be led by retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, alongside advocates Terry Motau and Anthea Platt.
Shiceka vows to fight report
Zuma did not specify why Mahlangu-Nkabinde and Shiceka were removed.
However, Madonsela found earlier this year that Mahlangu-Nkabinde's decision to allow two controversial building leases valued at R1.6bn to go ahead, despite tender procedures not being followed and legal advice to the contrary, amounted to maladministration.
In a separate report, Madonsela found Shiceka had accumulated more than R1m in travel costs for himself, his staff and friends in violation of the executive ethics code.
This included a trip to Switzerland to see a girlfriend jailed on drug-related charges. Shiceka has denied any wrongdoing and has vowed to contest Madonsela's findings.
Zuma's announcement was welcomed by political parties and other unions.