PORT ELIZABETH - Factionalism in the African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape is as clear as day after Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masaulle was forced to reshuffle his cabinet and fire four members, Democratic Alliance (DA) Eastern Cape leader Nqaba Bhanga claimed on Friday.
At a press conference, Bhanga said the ongoing feud between Masaulle and recently elected ANC Provincial Chairperson Oscar Mabuyane had cost the ANC dearly.
Masaulle's detractors want him replaced by Mabuyane and the two have since been forced to work together after last year's chaotic elective conference, dubbed the festival of chairs.
Bhanga claimed that the reshuffle was about political revenge and not about service delivery.
"The ANC six officials, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, instructed Masaulle to implement a decision to fire his MECs.
"You will see that a number of good MECs were fired," said Bhanga.
He added that what came as a surprise was the firing of performers and the retaining of under performers.
On Thursday, Masualle announced a reshuffle of his Cabinet‚ which saw the firing of four MECs who had supported his campaign for chairmanship leading up to last year’s provincial elective conference.
Bhanga said MEC for Education Mandla Makapula who has been at the helm since 2010, was kept on despite "failing the people" and the worrying state of education across the province.
"The only appointment we celebrate is the removal of MEC Helen Sauls-August. For the past five years since she was an MEC for human settlements, she never attended one meeting of all MECs with the minister, because of her political differences with Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu.
"It shows that that this person cares less about the housing problems our people are confronted with but cares more about playing politics. This is how the ANC looks at issues, they don't care about the plight of people," said Bhanga.
Replacing Sakhumzi Somyo, Mabuyane, is now the new head for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism. Others who were sacked were Mlibo Qoboshiyane, Nancy Sihlwayi and Thandiswa Marawu.
New additions to Masaulle's executive are Mabuyane's deputy Mlungisi Mvoko, SACP provincial secretary Xolile Nqatha and deputy speaker Bulelwa Tunyiswa. Meanwhile, disgruntled ANC members will approach the Grahamstown High Court next week to bring an urgent application to nullify the reshuffle.
African News Agency/ANA