ANC alliance doomed?

2017-10-18 13:45
Former Higher Education Minister and  SA Communist Party (SACP) leader Blade Nzimande.

Former Higher Education Minister and SA Communist Party (SACP) leader Blade Nzimande. (File)

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The ANC alliance is in danger of crumbling after Tuesday’s controversial Cabinet reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma.

The changes have been met by anger and confusion across the political spectrum, but are supported by Zuma’s party allies in KwaZulu-Natal.

There has been widespread speculation that a major factor in the moves was Zuma’s desire to force through the multi-billion rand nuclear deal — a deal which critics fear will benefit a few Zuma allies but will ultimately prove unaffordable.

The firing of SA Communist Party (SACP) leader Blade Nzimande from the Higher Education portfolio has infuriated the organisation.

“We emphatically reject these manoeuvres that place the alliance on the brink of disintegration,” the SACP said.

The SACP and Cosatu — members of the tripartite alliance along with the ANC — have campaigned against Zuma’s presidency and particularly his role in state capture.

On Tuesday opposition parties called on Nzimande to join them in their bid to remove the ANC leader from power.

“Blade must man up. Come and fight corruption on the streets with us. Come and do communist things now and stop eating. We are really happy [with his axing]‚” EFF leader Julius Malema said.

Nzimande was the only minister dropped from Zuma’s cabinet during Tuesday’s reshuffle, which saw several Cabinet ministers moved to other portfolios. The SACP leader has in recent months been calling for Zuma’s removal as the country’s president.

Nzimande will be replaced by former Home Affairs minister Hlengiwe Mkhize.

The DA, which described Nzimande’s removal as an example of how Zuma treated anyone who dared to differ with him, called on the SACP to sever ties with the ANC. “They must now decide how long they will put up with this abuse — or if they will now do what they know is right‚ and begin to work outside the ANC‚” the DA said.

Zuma came under heavy criticism for firing former Finance minister Pravin Gordhan in a reshuffle now dubbed “the night of the long knives”.

Now he is being accused of using Tuesday’s reshuffle to open the door for the controversial multi-billion rand nuclear deal with Russia that he reportedly brokered.

The reshuffle saw Energy minister Mmamoloko Kubayi being moved to the Communications portfolio and Zuma’s trusted State Security minister David Mahlobo moved into her place.

The DA said the reshuffle confirmed its view that the ANC was only committed to self-enrichment. “Blade’s axing has also provided the pretext for yet another reshuffling of Zuma sycophants‚ none more pliant than new Minister of Energy David Mahlobo.

“This smacks of an attempt to reignite the ANC’s efforts to chain our country to a multibillion-rand nuclear deal with the Russians‚” the party said

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  cabinet reshuffle

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