Eric Naki
Political Editor
2 minute read
18 May 2017
6:21 am

NC premier appears unwilling to reverse controversial cabinet reshuffle

Eric Naki

Lucas shocked everybody when she suddenly reshuffled her executive council a day before the start of the ANC provincial conference.

President Jacob Zuma with Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas at the opening of Dr Harry Surtie Hospital in Upington, Northern Cape. (Photo: GCIS)

The cold war is not over between the ANC and its own government in the Northern Cape as Premier Sylvia Lucas appears to be unwilling to accede to the request by the newly elected party provincial leadership to reverse her recent controversial provincial cabinet reshuffle.

Lucas shocked everybody when she suddenly reshuffled her executive council a day before the start of the ANC provincial conference, without even discussing the matter with the leadership structure. At the time she was contesting for the hot-seat of the party chairperson against then provincial secretary, Zamani Saul. Saul has since been elected as chairperson.

The reshuffle resulted in two MECs, known to be supporting Saul, being fired and replaced with followers of Lucas.

This week, the party met Lucas and requested her to reverse her decision. On Tuesday, Saul said after their discussion with the premier, the reshuffle would be reversed.

He said Lucas consulted neither the provincial leadership nor the party headquarters at Luthuli House about her decision. Prior to the conference, Saul warned that there would be consequences for the premier’s reshuffle and her failure to consult the party.

In a statement later, Lucas confirmed meeting the party’s top 5 officials and they discussed the matter but said she categorically stated that she did not concede to the request made by the officials to reverse her decision. 

“What she did commit to, was to consult with all the relevant stakeholders and legislative prescripts before making a decision on the matter. This decision she will then be communicated to the officials,” a statement from her office said.

Lucas withdrew from contesting the chairperson post at the last moment in what some described as a “walk out” by her camp. Then Saul and his entire camp were elected into the top five positions.

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