Cabinet reshuffle a desperate move by a desperate man – SACP

CC says Party will not be misled into rash actions by a provocative president hiding behind a presidential prerogative

South African Communist Party

Special Central Committee statement, 20 October 2017

A Special Central Committee meeting of the SACP convened on Friday, 20 October 2017 in Johannesburg to discuss the current situation following, amongst other things, yet another reckless Cabinet reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma. This was not the move of a master chess-player, as some in the media are suggesting. It was a desperate move by a desperate man who increasingly by-passes his own cabinet, his own ANC NEC, his own ANC top six, let alone the broad Alliance, in an attempt to ram through his own private agendas.

The reshuffling is a desperate move in the context of repeated defeats and rebuffs for the Zuma-Gupta axis, including the downfall of Brian Molefe, Dudu Myeni, and Hlaudi Motsoeneng. It occurs in the context of the Supreme Court of Appeal’s decision on the multiple criminal charges facing President Zuma. The serial replacement of successive ministers of energy is a sign of desperation as President Zuma tries futilely to ram through a nuclear procurement programme that our country neither needs nor can afford. As the new minister will quickly discover, if cabinet does not reject the nuclear deal, parliament will, if parliament does not, the courts will. If those structures are by-passed the new minister will find himself in jail.

In the most recent Cabinet reshuffle the one minister who was actually dropped was, of course, our General Secretary, Cde Blade Nzimande while chronically under-performing ministers have been retained. As the SACP we wear Cde Nzimande’s removal as a collective badge of honour. Reckless as the move was, it came as no surprise to the SACP. Cde Nzimande has consistently articulated the SACP’s position that President Zuma must go. Cde Nzimande’s influential and consistent role within Cabinet in frustrating attempts at looting of public resources is at the root of his displacement. The whole country can plainly see that Cde Nzimande, like other Communists in provinces and municipalities, has not been dropped because of corruption, or under-performance, or a lack of energetic defence of the interests of the workers and the poor. 

The developments of this past week have reinforced the SACP’s determination to work together with hundreds of thousands of ANC members to rid our collective liberation movement of despotic tendencies and parasitic looting. The SACP will not be misled into rash actions by a provocative president hiding behind a presidential prerogative. The SACP remains steadfast in its commitment to building a broad patriotic front against state capture and corruption. The SACP remains committed to its strategic vision of contesting all key sites of power, not for the sake of the SACP or our individual members – but in the interests of the great majority of South Africans, the working class and poor.

In the coming days we will be taking these perspectives forward, including in the Alliance Political Council onThursday, 26 October 2017. The SACP will convene another Central Committee plenary over the next weekend. The meeting will start a day after the Alliance Political Council.

Statement issued by the SACP, 20 October 2017