"The recall of the Treasury team from the international road show and their subsequent firing left uncertainty in the financial market and was reflected in the decline in the value of the rand," the veterans said.
"This is not about so-called white monopoly capital...the decline in the rand affects the value of every worker's pension and can only negatively impact on the most vulnerable of our society. The scope and scale of the reshuffle could regrettably be seen as a factional move to undermine attempts to honestly confront the crisis the country and our movement faces."
The more than 100 ANC veterans signalled their unhappiness with the state of the governing party and that of the country by penning a document titled "For The Sake of the Country", through which they decried the political and economic situation in the country, rampant corruption, and “the inability of the ANC to act against corruption, nepotism, factionalism, arrogance and election slates in the ANC and its alliance partners”.
They requested an ANC national consultative congress, where their concerns would be thoroughly addressed. But their further request to ANC top leaders that the consultative conference be held this month seems to have failed.
The veterans, who include respected anti-apartheid struggle figures such as Andrew Mlangeni, Gertrude Shope, Trevor Manuel, Mavuso Msimang, Sheila Sisulu and Ben Turok, have vowed to keep pushing for the consultative conference and to fight to ensure that the legacy of the ANC "is not lost".
In sharp contrast, the ANC Women's League (ANCWL) welcomed the newly reconstituted executive.
"We applaud the President for being cognisant of the gender parity policy of the ANC and affirming women leadership through his decision, as he appointed 50 percent women ministers and 60 percent women deputy ministers," said the ANCWL.
"Another imperative feature of the reshuffle is that different generations are represented in the Cabinet, in line with the generational mix of the ANC."
The ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini, a staunch supporter of Zuma, survived the sweeping reshuffle and retained her post as social development minister. The reshuffle was not factional, the league insisted, and accused those who said so of sowing panic.
"This move will ensure a better life for the poor and the working class as per the 2014 ANC manifesto. The ANCWL denounces the narrative driven by the opposition that the reshuffle is factional and causing panic that the country is in crisis."