Speaking to City Press on Friday, ANC alliance partner the SA Community Party (SACP) believes President Jacob Zuma appears to be using his far-reaching powers for “factional reasons” and therefore he can no longer be trusted to make decisions to hire and fire Cabinet members in the national interest.
It was reported by the Sunday Times that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, told Treasury colleagues that they were both expecting to soon be fired. They wanted their colleagues to continue politically sensitive investigations, such as those against Zuma’s friends the Guptas.
Zuma no longer consults with the SACP as he used to when he swept to power in the ANC in 2007. The SACP has also been warning for some time that its senior members with Cabinet positions are waiting to lso be shuffled out of Cabinet. The SACP’s second deputy general secretary, Solly Mapaila, says that if this happens, it would be final straw and the constitutional prerogatives of the president might have to be revisited.
The relationship between Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande and Zuma is understood to be particularly strained.
Mapaila has suggested that decisions to hire and fire ministers should possible rather rest with collective leadership at ANC party level.
Mapaila reiterated an earlier decision that his party has been mulling over of whether to leave the alliance completely and contest future elections on their own.