South Africa's ruling ANC calls for unity after cabinet reshuffle

Source: Xinhua| 2017-03-31 23:54:50|Editor: yan
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CAPE TOWN, March 31 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Friday called for unity among its ranks following an overnight cabinet reshuffle which reportedly has plunged the country into chaos.

"Members and leaders of the organization are expected to focus more on what contributes to unify the nation than what divides us," the ANC said.

This came after President Jacob Zuma announced changes to the cabinet in the early hours of Friday.

The reshuffle, seen as one of Zuma's most dramatic moves during his tenure, affected 20 ministers and deputy ministers, notably Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

This has led to ANC members expressing varying opinions on the reshuffle.

Among them is Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa who objected the reshuffle.

Before effecting his cabinet reshuffle, Zuma met top ANC leaders, but it was just a process of informing them of his decision, according to Ramaphosa.

"It was not a consultation, because he came with a ready-made list," Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa raised his concern and objection about the removal of Gordhan, largely because he was being removed based on an intelligence report that he and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas were going to London to mobilise financial markets against South Africa.

This report had unsubstantiated allegations, Ramaphosa said.

"Now that I find totally totally unacceptable that a person who has served our country with such distinction would do something like that," he said.

Ramaphosa said this reminded him of his own situation in 2001 when there was an intelligence report that alleged that he was involved in a plot to overthrow the government of then President Thabo Mbeki.

In view of differing views about the reshuffle, the national officials of the ANC will meet soon to further appraise each other on this matter and collectively give guidance and leadership to the organization, ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.

South Africans have bestowed upon the ANC the leadership responsibility to make a success of the country, thus requiring committed and focused action amongst members and leaders of the organization, working hand in glove, with all societal partners, Kodwa said.

"The ANC therefore at all times should focus on common and national challenges in the interest of the people and to advance their aspirations," he said.

Accordingly the ANC calls on its members and leaders to display unity of purpose at this time, said Kodwa.

From time to time there shall be divergent views on the nature and means to achieve the type of society the ANC wishes to construct, Kodwa said.

"Diversity and plurality of views does not mean division but robust and necessary engagement within our movement in our quest to deliver on our responsibility to our people," said Kodwa.

Members of the Executive are as always expected to display the highest levels of integrity, selflessness, trustworthiness, honesty and commitment to serve the people in the execution of their duties, added Kodwa.

Also on Friday, lobby group Save South Africa (SSA) vowed that its members would occupy the National Treasury until their cries were heard.

Scores of SSA members gathered outside the National Treasury in Pretoria, protesting against the reshuffle and calling for Zuma to step down.

The Thabo Mbeki Foundation has asked Zuma to explain to the country why he decided on the cabinet changes.

Gordhan's removal intensifies the notion that the process of total state capture has now been set firmly in motion, the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) said.

This refers to the undue influence exerted by the Indian Gupta family on Zuma.

FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George said his organization "is deeply disappointed and outraged" with the manner in which Zuma has handled the cabinet reshuffle.