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KZN cabinet reshuffle sparks anger

By Celani Sikhakhane

Anger is brewing in the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal over the acting premier’s meddling in the cabinet.

On Tuesday, acting premier Nomagugu Simelane Mngadi announced the appointment of a new MEC for Human Settlement and Public Works, Sipho KK Nkosi, to replace Dr Ntuthuko Junda Mahlaba.

She also announced the redeployment of Mahlaba to the Department of Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation, replacing expelled MEC Amanda Bani Mapena.

After the announcement, ANC members who supported Mahlaba were up in arms, accusing ANC leadership of playing at factional politics by reshuffling the cabinet.

“They have started a war by removing Mahlaba from the Department of Human Settlement and Public Works. They wanted to remove him in December.

“We know they are fighting him and they know that he is realigning his forces in the form of Jomo Sibiya and Amanda Bani Mapena who have been expelled from the cabinet. This is a war,” one leader told Scrolla.Africa.

It is understood that the attempt to remove Mahlaba started after a fallout between him and other leaders in the provincial top six.

The divisions have seen the arrival of ANC top brass led by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Secretary General Fikile Mbalula to address the situation in KZN.

The reshuffling was done in the absence of Premier Nomusa MaDube Ncube, who is said to be on an official trip in Kenya.

Acting premier Simelane Mngadi, who is also the deputy ANC provincial chair, said that Mahlaba was moved to Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation due to his sterling work in government and as mayor of Newcastle between 2019 and 2021.

“Both MECs are community leaders and activists who have worked in various strategic sectors. They have in-depth knowledge of challenges confronting the government,” said Mngadi.

Nkosi is a former teachers union (Sadtu) leader in KZN who played a major role in former president Jacob Zuma’s presidential campaign in 2009.

He famously led the teachers’ 7% salary hike protest that called then minister of public service, Geraldine Fraser Moleketi, a useless political head.

The word used to describe her was “iwewe”, taken from the title of DJ Syanda’s famous song.

Pictured above: New Human Settlement and Public Works MEC Sipho KK Nkosi, KZN judge deputy president Mjabuliseni Madondo and acting premier Nomagugu Simelane Mngadi

Image source: Supplied