Following ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizane’s resignation and diplomatic posting to Germany as SA ambassador, The Congress of the People (COPE) has predicted that ‘more ANC parliament members will soon be butted out’.
Sizane’s redeployment is indeed a trauma to many because most people did not it coming. The news broke out after a special caucus meeting of ANC Members of Parliament.
But opposition party COPE believes that his redeployment explanation was a mere cover up. “We will not be surprised to see more resignations will follow from ANC MPs.”
Reacting, COPE’s Bloem said that “Sizane’s resignation makes him the “second casualty” of the fallout over Nkandla, after ANC’s Paul Mashatile, who was redeployed to Gauteng”.
“Both of them were very vocal against this blind defence of Zuma‚” Bloem maintained.
Furthermore, Bloem alleged that Sizani was under “heavy pressure” to defend things he did not agree with, which included Nkandla, and so his reputation became questionable in the eyes of the public.
“Cope has reliably learnt from sources within the ANC that the last straw for Sizani was the sudden somersault of Mr Zuma when he said that he is prepared to pay back a portion of the money illegally spent on his private residence in Nkandla.”
“After the ANC caucus endlessly defended the Nkandla issue, Sizani was one of those who felt betrayed by Mr Zuma. He felt that his personal integrity is questionable in the public’s eyes,” said spokesperson Dennis Bloem in a statement.
The opposition party’s spokesman gladly predicted that more ANC “MPs and members will break their silence and speak out against the wrong that is happening in the country” and that “they will break rank with their president who had disgraced the ANC and the country.”
Lending reference to his assertion, the Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen noted that “For the past three years Sizani has been forced to make a career of defending the indefensible in Parliament at President [Jacob] Zuma’s behest, and has sustained numerous embarrassments in the National Assembly in the process.”
And that “Sizani’s resignation was a clear indication of schisms within the ANC caucus and an omen of the growing rifts within the ANC. He added that it is crystal clear that Sizane’s ‘deemed redeployment’ speaks bad “of an ANC caucus which is collapsing under the weight of President Zuma’s maligned presidency,” DA’s chief whip said.
Nevertheless, many have surmised that Sizane’s redeployment could be the start of a broader shake-up in the party’s Parliamentary caucus.
Sizane is expected to succeed Makhenkesi Stofiler, who has retired from active service. He has been the ANC’s chief whip since 2013 after succeeding Mathole Motshekga. His redeployment is with immediate effect.
A source from the ruling party had reported that “Doris Dlakude, (the deputy chief whip] will act as Sizane’s replacement until a decision has been made.”