After months of speculation General Secretary Blade Nzimande has been booted out of President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet and replaced with Hlengiwe Mkhize as minister of higher education and training. SACP first deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila says Nzimande’s ousting is a response to the popular call led by the SACP and labour federations COSATU for the president to step down.
Addressing the media in Braamfontein following the removal of Nzimande from cabinet, Mapaila said the SACP rejects what it said was a “direct attack” on the SACP. Mapaila said the organisation will continue to play a leading role in exposing state capture despite “factional reshuffle”.
“If the president thinks that by removing Dr Nzimande from Cabinet he will silence the SACP from the leading role it has played to expose and confront state capture, he is glaringly mistaken
“Ordinarily the aim of any cabinet reshuffle must be to strengthen the capacity of the state. But in this case that is not the intention, especially with the retention of so man dead woods and compromised individuals in cabinet”, he said.
Mapaila said the SACP was not consulted by the president before removing Nzimande.
SACP national treasurer, Joyce Moloi-Moropa said SACP officials will not resign from cabinet. Mapaila echoed Moropa’s sentiment saying : “We want the comrades in cabinet to stay and fight corruption”.