Hands off Khompela: EFF on FS cabinet reshuffle

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Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela Photo: Pierce van Heerden

“It would be unfortunate if the Premier removes current Free State Health MEC, Butana Komphela, as he is doing well in that position.

“While there are faults here and there, we have seen improvements in the state of the health in the province and we feel that if he is removed, the state of health will regress once again, at least until the appointed person learns the ropes,” said the Chairperson of the Economic Freedom Fighters party in the Free State, Kgotso Morapela.

The Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela, announced a cabinet reshuffle in a statement she issued on Wednesday afternoon. The rumours that have been doing the rounds states that Ntombela intends to replace Komphela with recently appointed Member of Provincial Legislature (MPL), Montsheng Tsiu, who brings with her a wealth of experience as a nurse. Tsiu replaced former Provincial Secretary of the African National Congress (ANC) in the Free State, William Bulwane, who resigned from the provincial legislature after less than one month in office.

Morapela said that replacing a lot of people in cabinet would be a good idea as only one or two portfolios needed new people. “What she should in fact be doing is placing someone in the MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), which has been vacant for quite some time,” Morapela said.

One other portfolio he said needed a new face was the Public Works portfolio, as he said current MEC, Dora Kotzee, was not performing as well as she should in this office. Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Roy Jankielsohn said that regardless of whom Ntombela appoints, he does not believe that these incoming members of the executive will make of a difference towards the lives of Free State residents. “I think that Ntombela will try to replace Komphela with Tsiu, then move Komphela to Social Development but I don’t know what she will do with the rest of the other offices,” Jankielsohn said.

Congress of the People’s (Cope) Mzwandile Hleko said he believes that the reshuffle was a mere formality and the Premier is cognisant of the fact that the general elections are next year, therefore, he does not anticipate that she will change her cabinet too much. “She will probably just reshuffle the people who are in office now to around other offices. I really don’t see that there will be much of a difference with the cabinet and in the lives of the poor people who voted them into power,” Hleko said.  Ntombela is expected to make her announcement at 16:00 at the OR Tambo House in Bloemfontein.

Pulane Choane 

pulane@centralmediagroup.co.za