ANC national executive committee member Jackson Mthembu has referred all queries relating to the recent Cabinet reshuffle to the office of President Jacob Zuma.
Addressing the media on the ANC’s discussion document on communications and the battle of ideas yesterday, Mthembu was reluctant to give his views on the reshuffle, which saw Pravin Gordhan fired as finance minister.
“I have no knowledge of why I’m asked these difficult questions as to why some ministers are still there,” said the ANC chief whip.
“I think the only person who can answer that question is the president, as I don’t have the responsibility to appoint and remove – that is the responsibility of the president of the republic, in consultation with the leadership of the ANC. The ANC I know does not duck from difficult questions. These are difficult questions and I can assure you the leadership of the ANC will be able to deal with this matter, be it at the national working committee that is meeting on Monday or at a future national executive committee meeting, but we will be able to deal with these issues.”
Mthembu stressed that the matter was of importance and on the agenda of the leadership structures.
“I am part of those structures, but I can’t just give an opinion,” he said.
“I will do so in those structures of the ANC, but I have to wait until the structures meet and I’m sure there will be meetings to address the challenges facing South Africa.”
Meanwhile, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa has also joined calls for Zuma to step down, saying it was disturbed by the fact that competent ministers in Treasury and other ministries have been summarily dismissed while ministers who have been found glaringly incompetent have been retained.
“The recent Cabinet reshuffle has left a distasteful and gaping wound in the morale of a wide spectrum of the people of South Africa.
“In particular, the long speculated targeting of the Treasury is a cause for grave concern and deserves the full attention of all citizens,” Bishop Zipho Siwa said.