Ajay and Atul Gupta File picture: Supplied
Johannesburg - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Friday rejected the President Jacob Zuma's reshuffling of the Cabinet, saying that it is nothing else but a handover of the country's Treasury to the Gupta family, Zuma's close friends.
"The entire reshuffle was nothing other than a target at the Ministry of Finance. The appointment of Malusi Gigaba is a clear sign that Zuma was handing the Treasury to the Gupta family, because Malusi Gigaba is a Gupta stooge," the EFF said in a statement.
Zuma fired five ministers in the far-reaching midnight reshuffle that affected 14 portfolios and saw the naming of 10 new ministers and deputy ministers.
Pravin Gordhan was fired as finance minister and replaced with Malusi Gigaba, the former minister of home affairs, in a dramatic midnight Cabinet reshuffle.
Gordhan's deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, was also axed and replaced by Sifiso Buthelezi.
The EFF said the plan, from the beginning was to always place Treasury in the hands of an individual whose only qualification is his loyalty to the Gupta family, and was clear with the appointment of Desmond Van Rooyen last year.
"This is the case with Gigaba, who is not only unqualified and holds no ounce of experience to preside over Treasury, but is loyal and indebted to the Gupta family. The only difference between Van Rooyen and Gigaba is that Gigaba is a social media celebrity; meaning, Gigaba is just a well-known Van Rooyen," the EFF said.
"It is not a secret that Gigaba receives bags of money from the Gupta family that allows him to live beyond his means. His unexplained wealth, and, let it be said, his off shore accounts, are all from the Guptas."
Zuma said he made the changes to the National Executive in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness, as well as bringing some younger MPs and women to benefit from their energy, experience and expertise.
The EFF rejected this notion, saying that some executive members were above the youth age bracket.
"We further would like dispel the notion that the cabinet reshuffle was an affirmation of the youth in that Zuma appointed Mbalula and Gigaba into senior positions," the EFF said.
"Mbalula and Gigaba are both turning 46 years old this year; and so are many appointed individuals in the Cabinet, they are all above the youth age bracket of the country. The cabinet reshuffle is nothing else, but a handing over of the country to the Guptas by putting their loyalists in charge of the executive."
Meanwhile, the EFF on Thursday approached the Constitutional Court to seek a directive that would order the Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete, to institute impeachment or disciplinary proceedings against Zuma for conduct associated with the Nkandla scandal.
African News Agency