Mthembu accepts MEC position after meeting between ANC, SACP
Durban - Following intense impromptu meetings between the SACP and the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, Themba Mthembu has accepted the position of Agriculture MEC.
Mthembu, who is the South African Communist Party's provincial secretary, was appointed as the MEC on Monday. He was among five new MEC's appointed during a cabinet reshuffle.
While his name was announced, Mthembu was a no-show during the swearing in of his four new colleagues on Tuesday morning.
He had asked Premier Willies Mchunu to delay his swearing in because he was apparently told about the deployment at the last minute.
Mthembu was now expected to be sworn in on Wednesday.
ANC deputy provincial secretary Mluleki Ndobe briefed the media after a long and intense meeting with the SACP.
No proper consultation
"The appointment of comrade Mthembu will strengthen the unity of the alliance. The appointment is in no way a co-option of comrade Mthembu or the SACP.
"This is a genuine effort to unite the alliance," said Ndobe, admitting that the party had not properly consulted with the alliance on the deployment.
SACP's provincial treasurer Nomarashiya Caluza agreed that the alliance was not properly consulted.
"We strongly believe that we needed to be consulted on the issue because, even though he is a member of the ANC, he is also a member of the SACP."
Caluza said when the party heard the news, it told the ANC that it needed 24 hours to consult because it had many concerns about the deployment.
She said the appointment of Mthembu would not stop the party from being vocal on issues.
On Monday, Mchunu filled the vacant transport portfolio with Mxolisi Kaunda. He appointed four new MEC's namely Bongi Sithole Moloi (Sport, Arts and Culture), Sihle Zikalala (Economic Development), Mthandeni Dlungwana (Education), Themba Mthembu (Agriculture and Rural Development).
They replace Ntombikayise Sabhidla-Saphetha (Sport, Arts and Culture), Mike Mabuyakhulu (Economic Development), Peggy Nkonyeni (Education) and Cyril Xaba (Agriculture and Rural Development).
They were sworn in by KwaZulu-Natal Deputy Judge President Mjabuliseni Madondo.
Former MEC's Mabuyakhulu and Nkonyeni have resigned from the legislature following the reshuffle.
This article first appeared on News24 – see here.