Cabinet reshuffle Zuma's prerogative: ANCWL hits back at Cope

ANCWL secretary general Meokgo Matuba (Netwerk24)
ANCWL secretary general Meokgo Matuba (Netwerk24)

Johannesburg - The ANC Women’s League has hit back at claims by Cope that it is one of the "main drivers" behind Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma replacing Pravin Gordhan as Finance Minister.

The league responded in a statement released on Sunday to Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem who had claimed earlier in the weekend that there was a plan to fire Gordhan.

"It is alleged that the main drivers of this destructive agenda [are] the ANCWL, ANCYL, the Premier League and their funders, the Guptas," Bloem had said on Saturday.

The party claimed that it was reliably informed "by well-placed ANC members that a Cabinet reshuffle is imminent and that Zuma will remove Gordhan and replace him with Dlamini-Zuma as finance minister".

On Sunday, the women’s league’s secretary-general Meokgo Matuba said, there were no drivers of destructive agenda in the ANC and that appointing cabinet members was President Jacob Zuma’s constitutional prerogative.

"The ANCWL respects those constitutional powers vested to the State President and will not interfere in that."

The ANC Women’s League has hit back at claims by Cope that it is one of the "main drivers" behind Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma replacing Pravin Gordhan as Finance Minister.

Unwavering support

Matuba said the ANCWL would not allow itself to be deterred from supporting Zuma as the party’s democratically-elected leader until his term as both party leader and president of the country came to an end, in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

She also warned members to be wary of "faceless unreliable sources" who were trying to drive wedges between in the party.

"The unity and integrity of the ANC is sacrosanct and must be defended at all times," she said.

On Saturday, Bloem said in a statement that Zuma had plans to reshuffle his cabinet. The party said it had also learnt that Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom would be replaced by Gordhan and that Hanekom would become "an ordinary back-bencher in Parliament".

The party believed that the move to elevate Dlamini-Zuma as finance minister was a "move by Zuma to prepare her to take over as president of the ANC and hopefully of the country".

"Zuma and his vultures will stop at nothing to achieve their mission of looting National Treasury and they are hell-bent in an attempt to capture the Treasury."

The ANC’s internal factional fights must not become the country's problem, Bloem said.

"Zuma must know he has already destroyed the economy and the image of this country. We are definitely not going to sit down and keep quiet when our finance minister is under attack by vultures," said Bloem.

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