Zuma may consider axing Blade Nzimande from Cabinet – report
The SACP secretary-general has condemned calls to identify ANC MPs who voted to remove Zuma from power as an ‘anti-communist witch-hunt’.
SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande sits during a press briefing at the SACP Policy Conference at the Birchwood Hotel, Johannesburg on 10 July 2017. The annual policy conference began today and will run until Thursday this week. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia
With President Jacob Zuma declaring war at the weekend on ANC MPs who supported a motion of no confidence to oust him from office, Zuma may, according to a report, consider firing one of his leading critics in Cabinet, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.
Bloomberg reports that Zuma, speaking at an ANC gathering in Parys, in Free State, said he would consider a suggestion raised by one of the delegates who attended the event to replace Nzimande.
The minister is also the secretary-general of the SA Communist Party (SACP), which has called on Zuma to step down, and has had strained relations with the governing party under the president’s scandal-prone leadership.
Last Tuesday, Zuma narrowly survived the eighth no-confidence vote in his leadership conducted through a secret ballot in the National Assembly.
At least 26 ANC MPs broke ranks to vote with opposition parties, a move Zuma said put the ANC into serious disrepute and should result in those MPs facing disciplinary action.
Zuma reportedly told delegates the matter would be raised on Monday at a meeting of the ANC’s top six leaders.
Meanwhile, addressing the SACP’s 96th anniversary national rally in Galeshewe, in Kimberley, on Saturday, Nzimande condemned ANC leaders who have called for party MPs who supported the vote of no confidence in parliament to be disciplined.
Close to 50 ANC MPs in parliament are SACP members as well.
“If the primary task of the ANC today is to do a witch-hunt of how people voted in parliament and make that a priority, we are indeed worried as a party that this thing is an anti-communist witch-hunt,” Nzimande said.
He said the damning Gupta emails that have shown the extent of the controversial family’s capture of state-owned entities and politicians were “an embarrassment to us as a nation – they are shameful”.
Nzimande said he hoped law enforcement agencies such as the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority would take the emails seriously and act on them.