Free State Premier Sefora Ntombela proved her critics right by removing current MEC of Health, Butana Komphela, and replacing him with recently appointed Member of the Provincial Legislature, Montsheng Tsiu. Komphela has now been moved to the Social Development Portfolio.
While leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the province, Kgotso Morapela, says he anticipated this move, he is disappointed in Ntombela’s choice because he believes Komphela was committed to turning the health situation in the province around.
“We think MaNtombela should have left Komphela in that office. He was working on the controversial matter of the Buthelezi EMS ambulances and was committed to turning the matter around,” Morapela said.
He also added that Tsiu is fairly new in politics and would take time to learn the ropes, which would set the province back when it comes to complex issues within that department.
“We hear that she was a nurse. Despite her vast experience, you cannot appoint someone on that basis. We have in the past had doctors who were heads of departments and MECs, and they failed in those positions. There are men and women in the Provincial Legislature that could have taken us forward as local government. But the Premier decided to take someone new,” Morapela said.
Ntombela made this announcement at the Premier’s Office in Bloemfontein this afternoon. Democratic Alliance MPL, Roy Jankielsohn, predicted that Ntombela would remove Komphela and replace him with Tsiu. Jankielsohn also predicted that she would move Komphela to the Social Development Portfolio which was formerly occupied by Limakatso Mahasa.
Mahasa is now the MEC at the Department of Economic, Small Business, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, replacing Dr Benny Malakoane, while Malakoane now serves as the MEC of Agriculture in the province.
Former MEC of Agriculture, Oupa Khoabane, has now been moved to occupy the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Portfolio. – Pulane Choane