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Lynne Brown sworn in as Western Cape premier

Former Western Cape minister for finance and economic affairs Lynne Brown was on Friday officially sworn in as premier of the province.

Brown, who replaces outgoing premier Ebrahim Rasool, was sworn in during a special sitting of the provincial legislature.

Addressing members of the legislature during her acceptance speech, Brown ruled out any drastic changes in the provincial government under her leadership, saying the ”do not fix that which is not broken” principle will underpin her tenure as premier of the province.

She paid tribute to her predecessor, Rasool, for having provided outstanding leadership during his tenure.

”He worked hard and showed leadership and vision” and the provincial government is now stable and functioning well, she said.

”I’m privileged to take over the reigns when the [provincial government] is in good working order,” Brown said.

Presided over by Cape acting Judge President Jeanette Traverso, the swearing-in ceremony was witnessed by more than 300 people, including former Cape Town mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo and Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana.

Rasool, who has been accused of creating divisions within the party, was not present.

Brown’s appointment follows the African National Congress’s (ANC) announcement early this week that Rasool would resign as Premier of the province with effect from Friday.

The ANC has denied that the decision to replace Rasool is part a campaign to purge those members of the party who supported President Thabo Mbeki’s third-term bid at the party’s Polokwane national conference last year.

Instead, the party maintains that the decision is meant to ensure unity in the province ahead of next year’s general elections.

While the Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes Brown’s appointment, the party said it is not impressed with the manner in which the ANC has made the announcement.

”In terms of the Constitution, the premier of a province is elected to that office by the provincial parliament and not simply announced by the majority party,” provincial leader of the DA Theuns Botha said in a statement on Friday.

Botha said the DA is equally worried about the fact that Brown might end up focusing more on the ANC’s internal divisions as opposed to ensuring that the provincial government is doing its job properly.

”It remains to be seen whether she will be able to stand up to the demands of the office of premier while simultaneously uniting her fractured caucus and also serving the higher demands of all the citizens of the province,” Botha said. — Sapa

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