The South African Communist Party (SACP) has reacted strongly to President Jacob Zuma’s latest cabinet reshuffle saying the move is part of a factional battle.

Speaking to Joanne Joseph of POWER Update, SACP’s First Deputy General Solly Mapaila said the decision to remove Blade Nzimande as Minister of Higher Education and Training is an attack on the party.

“We’ve picked this thing up (the news of cabinet reshuffle) on social media as it’s always the case. This is an extremely factional decision, this action has shown that Zuma has declared war on the SACP.”

When asked by Joseph on what he meant by his statement, Mapaila said “Blade as the leader of the party, was sent by the SACP to serve in government, it was a process of engagement with us and the ANC. Essentially, any other time you are to reshuffle cabinet you should do so to strengthen the capacity of the state to perform, it is not the case in this instance, it’s quite clearly a factional and literally targeted at comrade Blade. The SACP will give an appropriate response on this regard.”

Mapaila Zuma for not taking constructive criticism from Nzimande on issues of corruption and state capture.

“Blade had confronted him in many meetings of our alliance to indicate, comradely, our dissatisfaction with his conduct as leader of the ANC and government and this is what he is responding to instead of taking comrade criticism and correct his mistakes.”

‘Cabinet reshuffle not about strengthening the capacity of government’

Trade union Cosatu also spoke out against Zuma second cabinet reshuffle in 2017 saying that this causes instability.

“He did call us this morning to tell us of the reshuffle, it wasn’t a consultation but it was just a courtesy call. The frequency of these reshuffles are astounding, we don’t think they are really helping as we already have instability at a government level. This is not about strengthening government developmental agenda, if it was about that, Minister Bathabile Dlamini, Nomvula Mokonyane and Mosebenzi Zwane would have been part of this reshuffle,” spokesperson for Cosatu Sizwe Pamla said during an interview on POWER Update.