Mabuyane reshuffles Eastern Cape cabinet and boots out MECs aligned to Madikizela

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ANC factions are at play as Premier Oscar Mabuyane booted out MECs linked to his rival, Babalo Madikizela. Photo: Facebook/Oscar Mabuyane
ANC factions are at play as Premier Oscar Mabuyane booted out MECs linked to his rival, Babalo Madikizela. Photo: Facebook/Oscar Mabuyane


Two MECs aligned with Babalo Madikizela’s list going into the ANC Eastern Cape conference have been axed from the provincial government. Premier Oscar Mabuyane made his long-awaited cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday.

The MECs that did not make it back into his cabinet are Fezeka Nkomonye who was the MEC of sport, recreation, arts and culture, and Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe who was the MEC of transport and community safety.

Going to the ANC conference, Tikana-Gxothiwe was vying for the position of deputy secretary in Madikizela’s group.

In his speech announcing the new cabinet, Mabuyane thanked the two and said the reshuffle had been “necessitated” by the resignation of Madikizela.

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“Last month, I acceded to the request by the former MEC of public works and infrastructure, who asked to be released from the executive. This necessitated that I undertake an intense process of finding a long-term solution of filling the vacancy to the conclusion of this term.

In doing so, I also had to consider the fact that we are halfway through the term of the sixth administration, which is more like the second half of a soccer match. Our prize at the end of this term is the achievement of the ANC 2019 Manifesto commitments.” Mabuyane said:

We want to go back to our people in 2024 and say we achieved what they sent us to do in government.

Madikizela resigned last month as the MEC for public works, and he has been replaced by Ntombovuyo Nkopane – a new addition to the cabinet.

After Madikizela had been defeated by Mabuyane for the position of ANC chairperson at the 9th provincial elective conference, he announced that he would be leaving the government and going back into business.

Another new addition to Mabuyane’s cabinet is Zolile Williams who was elected as the treasurer at the conference.

He is now the MEC of cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta), after being sworn into the legislature this week, following his resignation as the municipal manager at the Joe Gqabi municipality.

Mabuyane said Williams had been a “serial achiever of clean audits” at Joe Gqabi. The premier said:

His experience in the local government environment will certainly bring about improvements in audit outcomes and the functioning of our municipalities.

Xolile Nqatha, who previously led Cogta in the province, has taken over the transport and community safety portfolio, which had been occupied by now axed Tikana-Gxothiwe.

Mabuyane has also added Bukiwe Fanta to his cabinet, who will now lead the portfolio of social development.

Fanta is also the convener of the provincial ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) task team in the province.

Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi, who led the social development department has been moved to the that of human settlements.

Mani-Lusithi – who is seen as a close ally of Mabuyane – is also the coordinator of the provincial ANCWL task team.

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Nonceba Kontsiwe has moved from human settlements to sport, recreation, arts and culture, a position that had been held by Nkomonye, who has been booted out of the cabinet.

The new MECs were sworn in by Eastern Cape judge president Selby Mbenenge who, at the end of the process, said: “An oath is as important as a pledge and the constituencies that you are serving will look upon you all the time to see whether what you pledge to do today, you will always live up to.”

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