*Congratulates new generation of leaders appointed
African National Congress (ANC) treasurer general, Zweli Mkhize, says the party leadership should have been consulted on President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle on Thursday evening.
Mkhize said in a statement on Saturday said that while Zuma has the Constitutional right to choose who serves in his Cabinet, he had his reservations.
“Unlike previous consultations which take place with senior officials of the ANC during such appointments and changes to the composition of the national executive, the briefing by the President left a distinct impression that the ANC is no longer the centre and thus depriving the leadership collective of its responsibly to advise politically on executive matters.”
The ANC needs to be able to justify all its leadership decisions as a collective, he said, and previous decisions have ordinarily been handled that way.
He also questioned the rationality of some of the dismissals, given that some members of Zuma’s cabinet have been underperforming in their portfolios.
“While there are many outstanding cabinet ministers with integrity and who are performing exceptionally well in their portfolios, however, we need to admit that there are also several serving ministers whose performance is rather unsatisfactory, hence they have attracted severe criticism as public representatives against whom appropriate action would be expected.”
‘Younger generation of leaders’: The ANC leadership can therefore not justify to be seen to have ignored or not considered these glaring factors in a cabinet reshuffle, he said.
He also said there was a discomfort concerning the circumstances around the recall of former Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, from an international roadshow earlier this week.
Mkhize called the so-called “intelligence report” cited as the reason for the recall “dubious at the least”, and bemoaned the negative public image and undesirable effects on the country’s economy.
“The manner in which these events unfolded may have had long undesirable consequences for the ANC and South Africa.
“Regardless of which individual is responsible for which portfolio, what matters most should always be the interest of the ANC and country above any other narrow interest.”
He said the ANC leadership now needed to “seriously apply its mind” and express a collective view to these developments.
Mkhize though congratulated the new cabinet ministers, and the “introduction of younger generation of leaders to the national executive is well acknowledged”.
He wished them well in pursuing radical socio-economic transformation.