‘Refilwe Tsipane is first Premier to consult before reshuffling cabinet’ 

'Refilwe Tsipane is first Premier to consult before making cabinet reshuffle'
ANC provincial treasurer Vusi Shongwe is also an MEC and the leader of government business in the province. PICTURE BY 013NEWS/ZK

He said Tsipane presented her case to alliance leaders and they all agreed that she had to reshuffle her cabinet.

ANC treasurer Vusi Shongwe has said that Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane is the first Premier of Mpumalanga to consult all stakeholders before making a cabinet reshuffle.

Shongwe said this was part of the reasons he supported Mtshweni-Tsipane somebody who consults before reshuffling a cabinet.

He was referring to Mtshweni-Tsipane’s first cabinet reshuffle on 24 February 2021 since she took power in early 2018 and where she removed all of deputy president David Mabuza’s loyalists and replaced them with leaders sympathetic to her leadership and ambition for the provincial chairpersonship ahead of the provincial congress in May 2021.

Shongwe said when Mtshweni-Tsipane was about to make the reshuffle on that Wednesday she had “the blessing of the entire alliance in the province”.

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The Mabuza MECs that Tsipane got rid of are Gabisile Tshabalala (community safety & security), Norah Mahlangu (human settlements), Pat Ngomane (finance) and Gillion Mashego (public works, roads and transport).

She replaced them with Nkangala ANC leader Speedy Mashilo (human settlements), legislature speaker Busi Shiba (co-operative governance and traditional affairs), deputy speaker Vusi Mkhatshwa (finance and tourism) and legislature member Mohita Latchminarain (public works, roads and transport).

Sources said Mtshweni-Tsipane consulted as far as Luthuli House and driving to Johannesburg to “present her case” to former Premier Mathews Phosa, who arranged a meeting between her and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

National secretary Ace Magashule allegedly told her to not sack Mabuza loyalists in her cabinet who she accused of using state resources to campaign for positions but when she met with Ramaphosa few days later she was told that it was her “prerogative” to “shape” the cabinet the way she wanted.

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Shongwe said Mtshweni-Tsipane “presented her case to everyone” and all the stakeholders agreed that heads should roll “to strengthen her cabinet”,

“This is the first Premier in the province who when she wanted to reshuffle her cabinet she called all the alliance partners and told them she reasons of how she wanted to strengthen her cabinet.

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“That did not happen in the past comrades. It never happened and we must be honest,” Shongwe said, referring to Mabuza’s time as Mpumalanga Premier where he took decisions and ran the Mpumalanga government and ANC from his house in Barberton

Shongwe was speaking during a campaign for Mtshweni-Tsipane to become the provincial chair at Hendrina’s Cosmos hall.

(edited by MLM)

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