REPORT: Zuma should have fired Muthambi


Party insiders within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) have reportedly questioned the decision by President Jacob Zuma not to fire embattled Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.

According to a weekend CityPress article, Zuma ignored a deployment committee decision by cabinet last month to have Muthambi fired, instead appointing Ngoako Ramatlhodi as the new Minister of Public Service and Administration, and former Free State MEC for Rural Development and Agriculture, Mosebenzi Zwane, as Ramatlhodi’s successor.

The article also claims that State Security Minister David Mahlobo and Deputy Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo were to be affected by the reshuffle, but were left to continue in their current positions.

Muthambi, who has been embroiled in controversy since her appointment, came under fire last week after openly discussing a number of matters raised at the ANC’s National General Council about the transition from analogue to digital television.

Criticised by ANC Spokesperson and Communications Sub-committee Chairperson Jackson Mthembu for not discussing the issue with party members first, Muthambi reportedly stated that it never came up for considering during the meeting and that Mthembu was in fact a liar.

Her comments were allegedly strongly condemned by the party’s senior officials, many whom were reported as having been “fed-up” after the country failed to meet with the International Telecommunication Union’s deadline on the switch from analogue to digital television on June 17th.

“To go to the extent of showing disrespect is what angered the ANC. She felt the NEC [National Executive Council] was nothing. She is not even in the NEC. There are people in NEC that are senior to her, “an unnamed source was quoted by the paper as saying.

In a statement on Wednesday, Democratic Alliance (DA) National Spokesperson, and recently appointed Shadow Minister of Communications Phumzile van Damme, said Muthambi had been the “weakest link” in cabinet for a while, and that the ongoing crisis within the Department and South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), should act as insentive to give her the boot.

“It is not enough to call Muthambi out for publicly defying the ANC, she must be held to account for her failures. It’s time for President Zuma to tell Minister Muthambi: ‘you’re fired’,” van Damme said.