SACP leader asks KZN premier to delay swearing him in as MEC
KwaZulu-Natal SACP secretary Themba Mthembu has asked premier Willies Mchunu to delay his swearing-in as agriculture MEC.
Mthembu, who was appointed on Monday, was not part of the four new KwaZulu-Natal MECs sworn in on Tuesday morning in Durban.
“We were supposed to have our new agriculture MEC with us this morning,” Mchunu said during the swearing-in ceremony presided over by Deputy Judge President Mjabuliseni Madondo.
“I did announce his name yesterday, but I have been officially informed that he has requested that his swearing-in be delayed. As soon as I am ready, I will announce when he will be sworn in,” Mchunu said.
He said he respected Mthembu and was convinced he would accept the position. On Monday, he announced the appointment of four new MECs – Bongi Sithole Moloi (sport, arts and culture), Sihle Zikalala (economic development), Mthandeni Dlungwana (education), and Themba Mthembu (agriculture and rural development).
They replaced Ntombikayise Sabhidla-Saphetha, Mike Mabuyakhulu, Peggy Nkonyeni, and Cyril Xaba respectively.
Mchunu also appointed Mxolisi Kaunda to the vacant transport portfolio.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday denied that its surprise appointment of Mthembu was intended to appease the SA Communist Party, its alliance partner. The SACP last week threatened to pull out of the ANC’s local government election campaign because it was unhappy with how the lists of candidates had been compiled.
On Monday, Mchunu said Mthembu’s appointment was based on his understanding and experience in the provincial legislature’s agriculture and rural development portfolio committee.
“His appointment has nothing to do with anything else. Government does not appease. It appoints people in terms of their capacity and the ability to do the work.”
Mchunu, who recently replaced Senzo Mchunu as premier, said he was trying to put together a team that would work well.