The Western Cape government has appointed former ANC Chief Whip Garth Strachan as the new MEC for finance, economic development and tourism.
Strachan replaces Lynne Brown who was recently appointed premier after the resignation of Ebrahim Rasool. Rasool resigned after a decision by the ANC national executive committee to expel him. The move was seen as a purge of President Thabo Mbeki supporters by new ANC leadership under Jacob Zuma.
Strachan's appointment has been seen by some observers as a further entrenchment of Zuma's faction in the province.
The ID's Simon Grindrod criticised the appointment, saying that "the Zuma faction now controls the finances".
Grindrod said his party was concerned about "the province being remote-controlled by the Zuma camp at Luthuli House".
But Strachan told Sowetan yesterday that he does not plan to create an upheaval.
Strachan has a Masters degree in finance. He went into exile in 1975 and joined the ANC shortly thereafter. He was a member of MK, and returned to South Africa in 1990.