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JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP) has slammed the "factional" removal from Cabinet of the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande by President Jacob Zuma.
Nzimande is the general secretry of the SACP.
In a statement, the SACP says: "We emphatically reject these manoeuvres that place the Alliance on the brink of disintegration. Our view is that this is not a reshuffle, but the targeted removal of Cde Blade as a direct attack on the SACP. Ordinarily the aim of any cabinet reshuffle must be to strengthen the capacity of the state. But in this case that is not the intention, especially with the retention of so many deadwoods and compromised individuals in Cabinet."
According to the SACP, "The continued authoritarianism by Zuma, disregarding Alliance protocols and relations, has plunged the Alliance into unchartered waters. In fact this action, more than anything else, also compromises and further tarnishes the image of the ANC itself.
"Zuma’s removal of Dr Nzimande from the Cabinet without consultation with the Alliance is nothing but a response to the popular call, led by the SACP and COSATU, for the President to resign.
"Our call for Zuma to step down is based on the many problems of corruption, governance decay and state capture under his watch. In addition, the removal of Dr Nzimande from the Cabinet is part of Zuma’s manoeuvres to secure successful election of his ordained successor at the forthcoming ANC December national conference.
In Tuesday's reshuffle, Nzimande was replaced by Hlengiwe Mkhize, former Home Affairs Minister.
Buti Manamela has been appointed her deputy.
Ayanda Dlodlo is now the Minister of Home Affairs, replaced by Mmamoloko Kubayi as Communications Minister.
State Security Minister, David Mahlobo has been appointed Energy Minister with Bongani Thomas Bongo replacing him.