The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) on Tuesday expressed disappointment with President Jacob Zuma's decision not to remove Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in his Cabinet reshuffle.
" … We considered that our call for Minister Angie Motshekga's resignation would be taken into consideration due to her underperformance," Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said in a statement.
The call for her removal was out of concern for education in the country, he said.
He accused Motshekga of not effectively leading the process of transformation and of improving the quality of education.
"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," he charged.
Zuma axed three ministers in his Cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday: Dina Pule, Tokyo Sexwale and Richard Baloyi, ministers of communication, human settlements and co-operative Governance and traditional affairs respectively.
Zuma should have put governance first
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) slammed Zuma for his decisions, saying he should have put good governance above "cronyism", and sacked underperforming ministers.
"The reality is that this Cabinet reshuffle by President Zuma proves that he is more interested in his political survival than ensuring that good governance is his top priority," Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said in a statement.
"This is symbolic of a president who lacks the leadership needed to deliver on his government's promises," she said.
Mazibuko said the DA welcomed Pule's removal. But it said there was little sense in axing Sexwale while Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu remained.
"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," she said.
"Instead, President Zuma seems determined to keep in the executive ministers who should have got the sack some time ago."
Mazibuko said the DA remained determined to move a motion of no confidence in Zuma, and said the problem remained at the top.
On Tuesday afternoon, Zuma said ANC MP Connie September would take over the portfolio of human settlements from Sexwale.
Sexwale was said to be part of the "Forces of Change" which resisted Zuma's re-election as ANC president at the party's elective conference in Mangaung last year.
At the conference, Sexwale lost his bid for the position of ANC deputy president and his seat on the party's national executive committee.
Zuma said Lechesa Tsenoli, who was deputy minister of land reform, would take over from Baloyi as minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister.
His deputy would be Andries Nel, the former deputy minister of justice.
Baloyi, who has been an MP since 1999, had been moved to co-operative governance from his position as public service and administration minister in Zuma's 2011 reshuffle.
Zuma also announced that Yunus Carrim, who was co-operative governance deputy minister, would replace Pule as communications minister.
Pule has been embroiled in a battle with the Sunday Times about reported accusations that she gave tenders to a boyfriend, meddled in tender processes, and interfered in the appointment of officials to the boards of state-owned enterprises.
Zuma said Ben Martins, who has been transport minister for just over a year, would swap portfolios with former energy minister Dipuo Peters.
He also announced the appointment of John Jeffery as justice and constitutional development deputy minister, Michael Masutha as science and technology deputy minister, and Pamela Tshwete as deputy minister of rural development and land reform.
Ramphele: Cabinet reshuffle fell short
Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele said the reshuffle fell short of what people should expect.
"President Zuma's fourth Cabinet reshuffle since 2009 fell far short of what the citizens of this nation should expect the president of the country to do if he is serious about fighting corruption.
"That is to come clean – as a matter of urgency – about the R270-million of the people's money that was spent on a palace for himself and his family at Nkandla," Ramphele said in a statement.
She said the people deserved an explanation, and a leader who was accountable for his actions.
It was also astounding that Zuma had showered the departing ministers with praise for what he called "delivering a better life for all", she said.
Ramphele also questioned the motives behind the reshuffle.
"If such reshuffles are exercises at holding ministers accountable for their performance, why then is Public Enterprise Minister Malusi Gigaba still in office given the shambles at Medupi power station and looming blackouts?" Ramphele asked.
"The same could be said of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, under whose leadership the country scored second last in the world in maths and science." – Sapa