Mxolisi Dukwana appointed Free State Cogta MEC, Sam Mashinini fired as Transport MEC

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Mxolisi Dukwana.
Mxolisi Dukwana.
Mlungisi Louw
  • Just two days after he made his return to the Free State provincial legislature, Mxolisi Dukwana has now been appointed MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
  • His appointment as MEC comes as a result of Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela's reshuffling of her executive on Friday.
  • Dukwana replaces Thembeni Nxangisa who has been moved to the portfolio of MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development. 

Two days after being sworn back into the Free State legislature, Mxolisi Dukwana has now been appointed as MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta). 

The move comes after Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela on Friday reshuffled here executive. 

The premier's office said: "After thorough consultations with all relevant stakeholders and structures, the premier of the Free State province, Honorable Sefora Ntombela has decided to make changes to the provincial cabinet of the Free State." 

Ntombela redeployed Thembeni Nxangisa who was the Cogta MEC, to the portfolio of MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, making way for Dukwana who was sworn in as a member of the provincial legislature on Wednesday, to take over the Cogta MEC role. 

William Bulwane replaces Sam Mashinini as the MEC for Police Roads and Transport with immediate effect.

READ | Mxolisi Dukwana is back in the Free State legislature 9 years after Ace Magashule fired him

Ntombela suspended Mashinini as the MEC of Police, Roads, and Transport pending an investigation into the lack of progress into the construction of roads, including the one between Reitz to Tweeling, Cornelia to Villers, and Orangeville to Deneysville, among others.

"The office of the premier has appointed consultants to do an investigation into the issue of lack of progress with the work on five roads. In order to facilitate the progress with and the integrity of this investigation, I deem it appropriate that it should take place in an environment which is devoid of any pressure from any side," Ntombela said in a letter to Mashinini seen by News24. 

However, the move has been seen as a sidelining of one of the last few allies of suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule's key allies in the province.

In the statement, the premier thanked Mashinini for his contribution and wished him well in his future endeavours.

Ntombela also wished all the MECs well in their new areas of responsibilities.

'Dodgy dealings'

"In the current social and economic development landscape, ours remains a concerted fight against poverty, unemployment, and inequality in our quest to build the Free State we want," said Ntombela.

Dukwana is not unfamiliar to the Free State legislature, having previously served as the speaker and then later as the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs. 

Dukwana, a former provincial ANC treasurer, was part of Magashule’s inner circle until the relationship soured and he was fired from the then-premier's cabinet in 2012. 

The now former Free State MEC for Police, Roads and Transport Sam Mashinini, pictured outside the Bloemfontein Magistrate Court last November.

During his testimony before the State Capture Commission in 2019, Dukwana said Magashule fired him because he turned down attempts by the former premier to "reel him into his dodgy dealings with the Gupta family". 

The former MEC revealed that Rajesh Gupta allegedly offered him R2 million a month to help the Guptas get a multi-billion rand construction tender and went on to allege that Magashule admitted to receiving monthly payments from the Guptas to help further the family's business interests.

Magashule had maintained that Dukwana's negative public pronouncements about him were as a result of the former MEC still being bitter about being dismissed. 

At the time of his dismissal, Dukwana was rumoured to have been the man to succeed Magashule, and would later contest against the now-suspended secretary general. 

Dukwana was, however, thrown a political lifeline by President Cyril Ramaphosa when he and the party's top leadership appointed Magashule's nemesis as Free State interim provincial convener just days after Magashule was suspended.

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