LUTHULI House and the Union Buildings are probably reeling from the aftershock. President Jacob Zuma has told off three of his Cabinet ministers and distanced his party from the endorsement of Siyabonga Gama as the next Transnet chief executive.
He has told off Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale for his comments about the trend of rural folk turning to the cities for the promised better life. He has also told Justice Minister Jeff Radebe and his Communications counterpart Siphiwe Nyanda not to poke their noses in their colleague Barbara Hogan's prerogative of choosing the next Transnet head.
The sharp tongue is unprecedented. It was about time Zuma showed leadership. He has been given to casting himself as a genteel uncle and has avoided telling off those who deserved a tongue-lashing. Dubious characters have used his name to explain why they believe being made to account for their misdeeds amounts to being persecuted in the same way they believe he was by the National Prosecuting Authority.
Too often too many people have spoken for the ANC and government, leaving the public to wonder what the real position of the party was.
The media has repeatedly asked who was running the ANC and, by extension, the government. In some of these instances, it has been Zuma's comrades' names that have been bandied about as the real powers.
We hope that with this, the message as to who is in charge is now loud and clear.