The ruling African National Congress (ANC) in the Norther Cape has given Premier Sylvia Lucas until Friday to reverse her controversial cabinet reshuffle.
Lucas reshuffled her cabinet at the eve of the tumultuous African National Congress provincial conference, which would take place at the weekend.
The urgent cabinet reshuffle which saw most of her political opponents and strong supporters of the newly elected chairman Zamani Saul came as a shock to the ANC leadership in the Northern Cape who in turn warned her to reverse the reshuffle within the next two days.
But the premier was adamant, saying she would not reverse her decision, thereby putting the party in the province against its own deployees in the administration.
Premier Sylvia reshuffled her provincial cabinet on the eve of the provincial conference, which took place last week. She had been widely expected to challenge Saul, the former provincial secretary, for the chairmanship, only to decline nomination at the last-minute.
Saul and the newly elected officials in the province met on Tuesday to critically look at the conference which seems to have divided the province.
The party officials also met their allies like the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COPE) and the South African Communist Party SACP.
“The meeting with the alliance partners was followed by a meeting with the premier. We agreed with the premier that the reshuffling was not done in accordance with the internal organisational requirements,” said Deshi Ngxanga the newly elected provincial secretary.
“This was due to the fact that the ANC and the broader alliance were never consulted by the premier. We, therefore, agreed that by the end of this week, the reshuffling that took place on the 11th of May must be reversed,” he said.
The controversial Northern Cape Cabinet reshuffle affected about 10 portfolios, and the ANC condemned and its allies it saying Premier Sylvia never consulted them before making such crucial move
Meanwhile, sources said Premier Sylvia faction planned a fight-back strategy and that she had the support of the ANCWL and ANC deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte.
She allegedly planned to instruct her heads of departments and MECs not to take instructions from anyone except her, especially her nemesis – the current provincial leadership.