THE CARDS MAY BE RESHUFFLED BUT THE DECK REMAINS LOADED

2013-07-11 07:39

Has our President become the ultimate joker?
 PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma reshuffled his Cabinet on Tuesday for the fourth time in his first five-year term, set to conclude next April. The emphasis of this article however will not be on those that the mainstream media have dubbed the so called “winners and losers” of this latest repugnant action. This article will pay particular focus on those who I deem will ultimately lose out........... us the South African people.

The latest cabinet reshuffle announced by President Zuma on Tuesday puzzled many people in the country, but the Presidency on Wednesday refused to give reasons for the move.

It must be remembered that as the sitting head of State, Jacob Zuma has presidential prerogative to reshuffle the cabinet as and when he sees fit without the need for consultation. Cosatu general secretaryZwelinzima Vavi clearly enunciated this position when he told SABC radio news the following today:

“President Jacob Zuma does not owe anyone an explanation on why he reshuffled his cabinet. The president has a prerogative to make any decision in relation to the cabinet. After all, this is about his own performance and he [Zuma] needs to go to the public next year and account as a president in terms of what he has or has not done to pursue the goal of building a better life for all.”

This view was further solidified when Presidential Spokesman Mac Maharaj said the following:

"The Presidency has noted complaints from some media houses and commentators that President Jacob Zuma did not provide reasons when announcing changes to the National Executive yesterday, The Presidency wishes to remind the opinion makers that the President of the Republic uses his prerogative when appointing members to the National Executive. He does not need to provide reasons."

I do not for a minute dispute a president’s (lower case P to illustrate that I am referencing all presidents and not the current one) prerogative in relation to reshuffling the cabinet. I only dispute this President’s prerogative as in the past he has not shown the ability to use his Constitutional prerogative in the best interests of the Nation. Are our memories so very short to have already forgotten how Jacob Zuma completely disregarded the Nations sentiment when he used another of the President’s prerogatives (this time the one to pardon convicted prisoners) to release Shabir Shaik from prison?

The fact that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga emerged from President Jacob Zuma’s latest Cabinet reshuffle unscathed is so perplexing for one it beggar’s belief. It would appear that I am not the only who is left scratching their head wondering how, by the furthest stretch of the imagination, she survived. SADTU general secretary Mugwena Maluleke released a statement expressing the union’s disappointment:

“We considered that our call for Minister Angie Motshekga’s resignation would be taken into consideration due to her underperformance.”The future of our children is seriously being undermined by the presence of the director general, who the minister is unwilling to dismiss despite overwhelming evidence of gross negligence, corruption, indolence and daylight stealing of the Education Labour Relations Council funds.”

The Democratic Alliance has slammed President Jacob Zuma for his decisions, saying he should have put good governance above “cronyism” and sacked underperforming ministers. In a statement released by the DA, the party’s parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said:

“This should have been an opportunity for the president of the republic to stamp out poor governance, which has been the mainstay of his administration, and replace all poor performing ministers with competent and dedicated individuals. Instead, President Zuma seems determined to keep in the executive ministers who should have got the sack some time ago.”

The latest move raised questions about the necessity to reshuffle the cabinet at this time when the ruling African National Congress (ANC) is gearing up for next year's elections, in which Zuma will seek re-election to another five-year term. Zuma is almost assured of victory in the 2014 election given his ruling ANC's stranglehold over politics but international credit agencies have downgraded South Africa in the last year, citing Zuma's ineffectual leadership among other long-term risks.

South Africa was mired in recession when Zuma came to power, but since then has struggled to pick-up to pre-2008 growth rates of around 5 percent. Festering labour strife in the mining sector, a poor education system and a rigid jobs market have been eroding South Africa's economic competitiveness. Many party veterans feel Zuma has steered Nelson Mandela's former liberation movement away from its idealistic beginnings and into a morass of graft, cronyism and a culture of self-enrichment.

I believe that the Abathembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo spoke for all South Africans when he said the following:

"This is not Zumaville. I am done with the ruling party. Zuma's administration is a regime of corruption, and if you have not seen that, you must be benefiting”

The time is nigh for all South Africans to take back our Country at next year’s election before the ANC deprives the people of their hard won democratic rights  until their children wake up hopeless in the Country their fore-fathers conquered.

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