Johannesburg - Sonke Gender Justice on Tuesday said it was deeply disappointed with President Cyril Ramaphosa's Monday night Cabinet reshuffle, saying it undermined their confidence.
Late on Monday night, Ramaphosa announced a raft of changes to his Cabinet, including the axing of ministers like Lynne Brown from the public enterprises portfolio, mining minister Mosebenzi Zwane and Fikile Mbalula as minister of police.
The reshuffle drew mixed reaction, with some welcoming the firing of Gupta-linked ministers and others slamming the continued inclusion of "corrupt and state capture delinquent ministers" like Bathabile Dlamini, Nomvula Mokonyane and Malusi Gigaba.
Sonke in a statement reacted strongly to Dlamini's move from Social Development to the Women's ministry.
"Placing former social development minister and ANC Women's League President, Bathabile Dlamini in the position of women's minister, only further reveals the ANC's disdain for women's rights in this country," said community education and mobilisation manager Nonhlana Skosana.
"[During] her time as head of social development, Dlamini has shown contempt for the law, the South African Constitution and for parliament. Most disgraceful, she has shown complete disregard for the millions of women who rely on social grants every month to ensure their families' survival."
Skosana added that: "Under the stewardship of Susan Shabangu, the Women's Ministry has been compromised and ineffectual. For too long, the hopelessly underfunded Women's Ministry has been a mouthpiece for the patriarchal power of the leaders of the ANC. Now, with Dlamini at its helm, the Women's Ministry will continue to be a lame duck."
Her words were echoed by co-executive director at Sonke, Dean Peacock, who said Dlamini's appointment was a "grave mistake".
"The appointment represents party over country. It's a grave mistake. Cyril Ramaphosa just undermined our confidence, particularly with regards to his commitment to addressing violence against women."
"Our confidence was already on shaky ground. The then Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba’s budget speech of February 21 announced an increase in value-added tax (VAT) from 14% to 15% - effectively increasing inequity in a country already riven with deep inequalities.
Ramaphosa was also slammed for promising to eradicate corruption and yet keeping "Gupta acolyte" Gigaba in Cabinet.
"If the president were truly serious about driving his reform agenda and eliminating corruption, Dlamini would be gone - along with Gigaba," Peacock said.