Mabuza chops four MEC heads

The leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP) in Mpumalanga,Bonakele Majuba, on Wednesday said they were not consulted about thedecision to reshuffle the cabinet of the Mpumalanga government.

Premier DD Mabuza today announced the reshuffling of his cabinet at a press conference held at the Riverside Government Complex. In what is seen as a calculated chess move to consolidate his power base and close ranks against his dissenters, as the focus steadfastly turns towards the ANCs 2017 elective conference.

A week ago two cabinet vacancies were created when two MECs wereredeployed to municipalities.Social Development MEC Nomsa Mtsweni was appointed mayor of ThembisileHani municipality while Public Works, Roads and Transport MEC DumisileNhlengwetha became speaker of Msukaligwa.

In his message of support to the December 2015 conference that elected Mabuza to a third term in office and speaking in his capacity as ANCYL deputy president, Desmond Moela called for certain MECs to fall as they were not assisting young people.

We also need those blue lights as young people he said to applause.

In what can be seen to be a culmination of that call, Premier David Mabuza today announced Sasekani Manzini – former YL provincial secretary – as the newPublic Works, Roads and Transport MEC in Nhlengethwa’s place and BusiShiba in Mtsweni’s place.

Shiba was the mayor of the Chief Albert Luthuli municipality in theGert Sibande district.

A source in the party’s eHlanzeni regional executive committee told 013NEWS that Mabuza was realigning the cabinet and more specifically the departments with big budgets in order to have a firm grip on resources going towards the contestation of the party’s top positions. He also said that Sports and Culture MEC Norah Mahlangu-Mabena could also be reshuffled.

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The other two MECs who lost their jobs were Agriculture and Land Affairs’ AndriesGamede and Human Settlement’s Violet Siwela.Vusi Shongwe was moved from Safety and Security Department to head upthe Agriculture Department, replacing Gamede. Legislature deputy chief whip PatNgomane will take over from Shongwe who moves to Agriculture and Land Affairs while Nkangala regional chairman Speedy Mashilo takes over from Siwela as the new Human Settlement MEC.

Siwela is now the deputy speaker of the legislature.

Last week ANC provincial secretary Mandla Ndlovu indicated that they nowwant to strengthen capacity of local government by putting “strong andtested leaders” in government but said it was not true thatNhlengethwa and Mtsweni’s appointments to municipalities were ademotion.

Last week Thursday Mabuza appointed his former rival Peter Nyoni, whohas now been united with him, to be head of department as well Nyoni’swife, Jester Sidel, to be a municipal mayor.

(edited by MM)