Sbu Ndebele likely to replace Radebe

Sbu Ndebele.Aim to include Inkatha.
Pic Robbie Tshabalala.
© FM
Sbu Ndebele.Aim to include Inkatha. Pic Robbie Tshabalala. 30/9/02. © FM

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The succession battle between ANC president Thabo Mbeki and his deputy Jacob Zuma rages on and speculation is rife in KwaZulu- Natal that a reshuffling of the provincial cabinet is imminent following a decision by Mbeki to reshuffle the national cabinet.

Mbeki's reshuffle is likely to involve KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sbu Ndebele being moved to take over the portfolio of national minister of transport from Jeff Radebe.

Ndebele was the first MEC for transport in KwaZulu-Natal and was applauded for his innovative programmes that were adopted by the national government.

His position as ANC leader in the province is likely to be taken over by current deputy leader Zweli Mkhize, who is the MEC for finance and economic affairs.

"Ndebele has already received a letter from the president informing him about the move, and the official announcement would be made in June," a well-placed ANC source in the province said.

"The ongoing reshuffling in the provincial cabinet is part of the whole plan. Zweli Mkhize would remain in the province to take over the chairmanship in the next elections and eventually the premiership."

Ndebele's replacement in the province in the short term is likely to be Mike Mabuyakhulu, the MEC for housing and local government.

He is tipped to hold the post until Mkhize is appointed premier.

Provincial ANC secretary, Senzo Mchunu, denied any knowledge of the latest reshuffle. He had heard about "the rumour" and to him it remained just that.

Mchunu confirmed that Mbeki would return to the province to respond to some of the issues and questions that the provincial party executive raised but were not attended to.

"There were issues raised which we thought were important but were not responded to.

"The indications are that the president will be returning to specifically deal with those issues," said Mchunu.

Asked for comment, Mabuyakhulu's spokesman Mthatheni Mabaso said: "Mabuyakhulu will not respond to rumours."