The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday dismissed criticism leveled at it over this week’s provincial cabinet reshuffle.
Last month KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu was given the boot and earlier this week four members of his provincial cabinet were sacked and replaced.
Opposition parties had claimed they were not surprised, labelling the cabinet reshuffle as nothing more than a settling of scores against those who had supported the ousted Mchunu, who was replaced by Willie Mchunu as premier.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the party’s provincial secretary Super Zuma said: “Over the past few days, since the ANC decided to ring in changes in terms of the deployments of its comrades in government, we have noted that there has been a growing chorus from across the political spectrum from people who have taken it upon themselves to know what is best for the ANC.”
He said that the ANC had the right to decide where best to deploy its members.
“It is, therefore, unfortunate and in fact disingenuous for people to arrogate to themselves the right to think that, only them, and themselves alone know what is best for the ANC,” he said.
The cabinet reshuffle was announced on Monday.
Blessed Gwala, the leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, said: “In spite of recent statements by newly-appointed Premier Willies Mchunu that there will be no changes in the KZN cabinet, we knew that it will be pay-back time for those who opposed Senzo Mchunu. This latest move clearly demonstrates that rewards are now being dished out.”
The Democratic Alliance leader in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature Sizwe Mchunu said people who were not capable of the task were being promoted.
However, Zuma said that no one was entitled to a government position and that the party had evaluated the performances of those who were sacked and decided that they needed to be replaced.
“No one in the ANC was born with a government position. The deployees of the ANC are given a mandate and are, therefore subjected to constant evaluation of the task given to them and the impact of their work in changing the lives of the people.”
Zuma also dismissed claims that he reshuffle was a result of disunity in the party.
“We believe that the reports linking the reshuffling with the assumed disunity in the province are meant to cause confusion and disunity within the ANC,” he said.
He said the party had full faith in all those appointed.
On Tuesday ANC provincial chairman Sihle Zikalala as well as Mxolisi Kaunda, Mthandeni Dlungwane and Bongi Sithole-Moloi were sworn in as MECs by KwaZulu-Natal deputy judge president, Justice Mjabuliseni Madondo.
Zikalala replaces Mike Mabuyakhulu as MEC for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs, while Kaunda replaces Willies Mchunu as the MEC for transport, community safety and liaison.
Dlungwane replaces Peggy Nkonyeni as education MEC and Sithole-Moloi replaces Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha as MEC for Sports and Recreation.
SA Communist Party provincial secretary Themba Mthembu was sworn in as MEC for agriculture and rural development on Wednesday morning.
Zuma also rejected claims that the recent spate of protests in KwaZulu-Natal was due to dissatisfaction over the process to nominate candidates for the upcoming local government elections.
“We further reject the suggestion that the rise in the protests in the province is directly attributable to the disaffection of communities regarded the list processes.”
He said that the ANC always listened to the concerns of its people.
“However, no amount of unhappiness can justify the destruction of property.” – African News Agency (ANA)