North West Premier Job Mokgoro has rehired four MECs who were previously fired by his predecessor, Supra Mahumapelo in his first reshuffling since he was appointed to lead the province amid instability in June 4.
Mokgoro retained six MECs from Mahumapelo’s cabinet and fired four.
Those who lost the blue lights as MECs are Dr Magome Masike of health, Manketse Tlhape, who led agriculture, Mmule Maluleke, who was at the helm of public works, as well as Hoffman Galeng, who was MEC for social development.
Among those getting back blue lights as they return as MECs are:
• Wendy Matsemela – formerly education MEC and now appointed by Mokgoro to hold the strings of the provincial purse as finance MEC.
• Formerly with the department of economic development, environment, conservation and tourism before she was fired by Mahumapelo about three years ago, Motlalepula Rosho makes a comeback as MEC responsible for local government.
Matsemela and Rosho, who have been ordinary members of the provincial legislature since they were fired, have used their positions in different portfolio committees that exposed and questioned numerous dubious transactions in government under Mahumapelo. The pair were known critics of Mahumapelo’s administration.
• Previously an MEC for transport, Gaoage Molapisi was brought back by Mokgoro to lead the public works department, replacing Mmule Maluleke who was sent packing as MEC.
• The SA Community Party leader in the province, Madoda Sambatha, who was fired by Mahumapelo last year on allegations that he had signed off transfer of ownership of land to someone, came back as the new health MEC as Masike was fired by Mokgoro.
Galeng who recently made headlines for having social development department paying about R50 000 a month on security at his private home, also ceased to be an MEC.
Known as an ally of Mahumapelo, Tlhape was fired as MEC for agriculture. She also made headlines after Parliament’s portfolio committee decided that a donation of wildlife worth more than R100 million to politically connected individuals was “illegal”.
It was also alleged that R1.5 million worth of cattle were delivered to former President Jacob Zuma as a “gift” through her department.
Before announcing changes to his cabinet, Mokgoro said: “I appreciate all those who are committed to a clean and corruption-free provincial administration; we are now starting to see stability in our financial control system, much more stability in our supply chain management systems and, in addition, the relationship between organised labour and the provincial government has improved for the better.”
Mokgoro said things were getting better. The province reached a state of near collapse amid tender irregularities, maladministration and unaccountability on spending of public funds under Mahumapelo.
“In simple terms, irregular expenditure and/or contracts are receiving attention while measures are being put in place to ensure proper procurement processes in the province,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance has described Thursday’s reshuffle as “nothing more than a PR and factional exercise”.
“With only six months left before the people of North West go to the polls to elect a new government there is nothing these newly appointed MECs will do to improve the lives of people. A useless reshuffle such as this so close to a general election is a desperate attempt to portray the failed narrative of a ‘new dawn’,” the party’s premier candidate, Joe McGluwa said.
Job Mokgoro’s new cabinet:
- Ontlametse Mochware – Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs
- Sello Lehari – Education and Sport Development
- Mpho Motlhabane – Community Safety and Transport Management
- Wendy Nelson – Tourism
- Fenny Gaolaolwe – Social Development
- Desbo Mohono – Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development
Former MECs reappointed
- Madoda Sambatha – Health
- Wendy Matsemela – Finance, Economy and Enterprise Development
- Motlalepula Rosho – Local Government and Human Settlements
- Gaoage Saliva Molapisi – Public Works and Roads
- Hoffman Galeng – social development;
- Dr Magome Masike – health;
- Mmule Maluleke – public works; and
- Manketsi Tlhape – agriculture.