The DA Fears a coup as ANC leaders swoop into the Western Cape
Democratic Alliance (DA) insiders fear that the African National Congress (ANC) is muscling in on the Western Cape, using the province’s COVID-19 crisis, the Sunday Times reports.
The Western Cape is South Africa’s coronavirus epicentre, with over 30 000 of the country’s 45 973 known cases and accounts for 77% of the fatalities. It is also the only province out of the nine not governed by the ANC.
In response to the Western Cape’s towering numbers, national government has sent top officals to the province, including President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, who visited on Friday.
More ministers will be sent to the province, according to Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, who said there was nothing political about the move.
“The Western Cape is where we have the highest number of infections and the highest number of deaths. It goes without saying that the national government will send ministers there. We must drop politics out of this. We must not be political in matters that affect our ministers.”
Premier Alan Winde has also cautioned against politicising government’s response to the pandemic in the province. However, according to the Sunday Times, insiders in the DA have likened the step made by national government to an effort to micromanage Western Cape officials. An unnamed official quoted by the publication expressed concern at the lack of consultation with the office of the premier.
“It seems there is a coup d’état from national to administratively start taking over certain aspects of the Western Cape by neutralising the provincial government.”The publication says the ministers set to descend on the province in the coming days include controversial figures such as Police Minister Bheki Cele and his transport counterpart, Fikile Mbalula.
Also said to be on their way to the Western Cape are Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan as well as Barbara Creecy and Ebrahim Patel at Environmental Affairs, and Trade and Industry respectively. Winde, on Saturday, confirmed that national government had indeed deployed cabinet ministers to the province, but also stated that he and Ramaphosa had not discussed details.
“We didn’t actually talk about that [the mandate of the ministers], so I am not too sure. Obviously, I would hope that kind of consultation happens before it actually gets deployed. And who gets deployed where and for what reason,” he said.
-The South African
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