Zille cracks whip in Cabinet reshuffle

2014-12-31 17:46
Helen Zille (File: News24)

Helen Zille (File: News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Zille has a shelf life - Zapiro

2014-12-03 09:45

We speak to political cartoonist, Zapiro, he weighs in on the future of the DA moving into 2015. Watch.WATCH

Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has reshuffled her Cabinet only seven months into the new administration.

City Press reported that Zille announced a portfolio switch in a terse statement on Wednesday, stating that senior DA politician Theuns Botha who has been Health MEC was moving to cultural affairs and sport.

Botha has been in Zille’s Cabinet since May 2009 when the DA took over the governance of the Western Cape.

He is switching roles with NomaFrench Mbombo, who is new to politics and whose star seems to rise rapidly.

Until May this year she was a professor of community health at the University of the Western Cape. She became a member of the Western Cape provincial parliament after the 7 May general elections and Zille immediately appointed her to her Cabinet as MEC for Cultural Affairs and Sport.

She is one of two women that Zille appointed to her provincial executive.

Zille was not available for comment at the time of publishing, nor was Botha whom sources have described as “fuming” at the development.

Zille’s spokesperson Trace Venter said the premier had used her judgement when making the changes and was confident that her decision would make her Cabinet an even stronger team.

“She believes that all her provincial ministers have the right blend of skills, expertise and experience to deliver on the promises we have made to citizens of the Western Cape and she looks forward to working with them in 2015,” said Venter.

She rejected the view that Botha’s appointment to Cultural Affairs and Sport was a demotion, saying that the government was running a lot of programmes that fall under this department and it was as crucial a portfolio as others.

“The cultural affairs and sport has always been an important portfolio and it is going to be a big focus of this government going forward. I don’t think it’s a demotion and the premier also doesn’t see it as a demotion,” said Venter.

Venter said Zille had considered that Mbombo had a long background in health and that she had done “a very good job” so far in government since she started.

Mbombo’s phone went unanswered when contacted for comment.

DA sources have for many years claimed that there were tensions between Zille and Botha.

These allegedly originate from 2006 when Botha, who was the party’s leader in the Western Cape did not support Zille’s race to become the DA’s mayoral candidate for Cape Town. He instead supported her opponent at the time, Lennit Max, to be the mayor.

This was just one of a number of battles that Botha lost against Zille.

The provincial leadership of the DA is also viewed as divided into two broad factions – the liberals from the old Democratic Party, and a conservative faction comprised of remnants of the old Labour Party and the National Party. Botha is believed to belong to the latter group.

After years of leading the DA in the Western Cape, he relinquished the leadership position in November 2012, but was elected deputy provincial leader, a new post in the party structure.

Sources have claimed that Zille did not want a hullabaloo to be made about the shuffle, and hence the announcement was made when many media houses are on holiday.

Venter said there was nothing sinister about the announcement being made on 31 December besides the fact that it was coming into effect on 1 January.

Read more on:    da  |  helen zille  |  theuns botha  |  cape town  |  politics

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.