Dlamini-Zuma swearing in 'beginning of purge' - Steenhuisen
Port Elizabeth – The swearing in of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as a Member of Parliament is the beginning of a purge of those who turned against President Jacob Zuma in the recent vote of no confidence.
This is according to Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen, who believes a cabinet reshuffle is now definitely on the cards.
ANC caucus spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli confirmed to News24 on Friday evening that Dlamini-Zuma would be sworn in, but said they were still waiting for a date from the Speaker's office when this will take effect.
“This is the start of Zuma taking back control and dealing with the rebellion against him during the vote of no confidence,” Steenhuisen told News24 on Saturday.
There was a definite move to reclaim Zuma's position of power within Parliament and deal with his detractors, he believed.
“Zuma made no bones about the fact that he was really angry about what had happened [with the vote of no confidence].”
His remarks are contrary to those made by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, who said the ANC would not punish MPs who voted with the opposition in the motion of no confidence against Zuma.
Steenhuisen said it was also important that Zuma’s preferred candidate for presidency of the party be given a platform to compete against deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa.
Cabinet post definitely on the cards
Steenhuisen said there was no way that Dlamini-Zuma would be sworn in as a MP and then left as a back-bencher.
“This move is a virtual guarantee that there will now be another cabinet reshuffle,” he said.
Dlamini-Zuma would need to be given a high-profile Cabinet post to gain traction in her campaigning ahead of the ANC’s 54th National Conference in December, he said.
“She could possibly be appointed to the position of Higher Education or that of Health."
He said appointing Dlamini-Zuma to a Cabinet post would also make the uncomfortable questions around her state-funded VIP protection go away.
Read more: Dlamini-Zuma - ordinary citizen, VIP protection