The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape on Tuesday described the African National Congress’s (ANC’s) deployment of Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to "assist" it in the province for the 2014 election, as a "strange move".
The ANC recently deployed some of its heavyweights, including Dr Motsoaledi, to help it regain the province, which it lost in 2009.
"Motsoaledi’s deployment is a serious slap in the face of Marius Fransman, the leader of the ANC in this province, and an acknowledgement that Fransman is failing on his promises to the ANC. It is also an acknowledgement that the ANC has no potential for leadership within its provincial ranks," said DA deputy provincial leader Theuns Botha.
"The DA has noted that Marius Fransman was not elected a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC. In fear of public humiliation at the recent Mangaung national conference, he decided not to stand for this position. Yet his public opponents and members of the Western Cape provincial legislature Mcebisi Skwatsha and Lynne Brown both made it to the NEC.
"Fransman is persona non grata in the Western Cape ANC and therefore a national minister is deployed to help the provincial leadership."
Mr Botha said he hoped Dr Motsoaledi would "bring some money to the ANC in the Western Cape to settle their long overdue account at the CTICC (Cape Town International Convention Centre)". The Western Cape ANC’s financial woes have been well documented in the past.
"Hopefully he will be able to take one very important message back to the ANC chiefs: the people of the Western Cape are not obsessed with race, they are obsessed with good governance," he added.
Mr Fransman hit back at Mr Botha on Tuesday, describing him as "ignorant and stupid". "He clearly does not understand how our structures work. The reality is NEC members are deployed in every province … Trevor Manuel, for example, was the previous convenor."
Mr Fransman said the ANC in the province welcomed Dr Motsoaledi’s deployment. "I am surprised that the DA has actually commented on his deployment. Botha is clearly panicking and he will continue to panic in the months ahead," he added.