Zuma ‘a one man dictatorship’, says Phosa

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JULY 05: President Jacob Zuma addresses delegates during the African National Congress (ANC) 5th national policy conference at the Nasrec Expo Centre on July 05, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. 3500 delegates from branches across the country gathered for the conference to discuss the party’s policies going into the elective conference in December, where changes and new policies will be ratified. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Deaan Vivier)

President Jacob Zuma’s latest Cabinet reshuffle shows that he is a one man dictatorship and only consults himself and his own judgement which is dangerous for democracy, said ANC presidential candidate Dr Mathews Phosa.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Growing Up Without A Father Foundation event, Phosa said although it is the president’s prerogative to choose his Cabinet, the latest reshuffle, shows that Zuma is acting as a one man government.

“We must consider that it is the president’s prerogative to decide who must be in his team and whether or not he exercises the prerogative intelligently is another matter,” said Phosa.

“Why does Ramaphosa condemn the decision? It tells you a story, loudly, that we have a one man dictatorship here deciding what to do. President Zuma has become a one man government; he takes decisions on his own.

“What we are sitting with here is a one man government and he is doing as he pleases and that’s very dangerous. He relies on his own judgement, consults only himself, that is the threat to our democracy.”

Phosa said ministers are not being given enough time in a portfolio to make a contribution and the reshuffles have effectively become a game of musical chairs.

Tuesday’s reshuffle saw SACP leader Blade Nzimande chopped from his post as minister of higher education and training. Former minister of home affairs Hlengiwe Mkhize replaced him.

Former minister of State Security David Mahlobo was moved to minister of energy with Bongani Bongo taking over the reins of the SSA.

The SACP said the latest reshuffle was a “desperate move by a desperate man who increasingly bypasses his own Cabinet, his own ANC NEC [national executive council], his own ANC top six, let alone the broad alliance, in an attempt to ram through his own private agenda.”

Former President Kgalema Motlanthe says citizens should be concerned about Cabinet reshuffles as they destabilise the state.

Speaking about the upcoming ANC elective conference and the campaign trail, Phosa said his campaign has been gaining momentum nationwide and that he is happy with his campaign.

“We don’t waste our time where we think we are weak, we focus on where we think we are strong,” said Phosa, adding that he believes he is strong in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.

* This article first appeared on News24 on 21 October 2017.

(Photo credit: Gallo Images / Beeld / Deaan Vivier)