What the Fikile? Mbalula was shocked to be dumped
Former Police minister says the reshuffle survivors must prepare to face the pain he's suffering now
The pain of being reshuffled is still coming for those cabinet ministers who survived President Cyril Ramaphosa’s axe on Monday.
That was the message on Tuesday from a jovial former Police minister Fikile Mbalula, now the new ANC head of elections.
“People are wasting their time with political analysis. This cabinet is temporary; many of the people are still going to go; they must just enjoy for now,” he said after being axed in the cabinet changes.
“It is just a postponement of pain (being reshuffled later), a pain that one is no longer there and reshuffled. At the end the president and the ANC are faced with a huge task of reducing cabinet, which is bloated,” said Mbalula.He said he personally had not expected to “leave” cabinet so soon as he thought he was doing well but he accepted his redeployment.
“I never defied the decision by the president to redeploy me. Yes, it affected me psychologically because I thought I was doing well. I mean, within a year we had turned the corner in fighting crime. My hair even turned grey, but I have accepted my deployment. It’s a big opportunity,” said Mbalula.
He said Ramaphosa had an open discussion about his redeployment to Luthuli House as he wanted the ANC to be able to retain its power in next year’s elections.
“People always say that they are willing to be deployed by the organisation but when it happens it becomes a fuss when it comes to other people. It is not our choice where we want to go ... we must abide by what the organisation says,” Mbalula said.
He said he would soon be meeting ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule about resigning as a member of parliament to focus on the election campaign.Mbalula said he would be working with Fébé Potgieter-Gqubule as the election campaign manager. Potgieter-Gqubule was one of the key ANC members who led Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign for the ANC presidency last year.
“Of course at a personal level I had not expected to move drastically out of government but it is done. There is no better person to occupy the position of police than Bheki Cele and I think he will do a splendid job because he has a passion for fighting crime,” Mbalula said.
“I took hard decisions and removed people who were untouchables and that had its comebacks on me because all sorts of plots were orchestrated and some of the people wanted to ingratiate themselves to the political leadership of the ANC by claiming we wanted to steal money from the state to buy our conference which was untrue,” said Mbalula.