The DA says its new shadow cabinet will not change even if its MP Phumzile van Damme chooses not to go on a sabbatical granted to her by party leader John Steenhuisen. Van Damme accused Steenhuisen of attempting to sideline her.
She said she had not requested a sabbatical and had in fact, performed her duties as an MP even through her medical leave.
Phumzile Van Damme’s alleged unsolicited sabbatical under the spotlight:
Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone says the sabbatical was granted out of caring for a colleague who is ill.
“It is unfortunate that Phumzile has chosen to I see this as a sideline. It most certainly was nothing of its kind. It was done out of love, the end of concern for a colleague because part of leadership is that you must know when someone needs help. All we are trying to do is assist Phumzile and she can choose not to take the sabbatical. She can choose to take the sabbatical but the shadow cabinet stands as it is.”
The DA earlier announced a new list of its spokespersons for the various government portfolios in its shadow cabinet. Van Damme has been removed from Communications.
Her replacement is Zakhele Mbhele, who was previously police spokesperson.
DA appoints Zakhele Mbhele as new shadow Minister of Communications:
The party’s former national spokesperson Solly Malatsi is now in charge of the Presidency, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
The majority of the positions are unchanged, with Geordin Hill Lewis remaining at Finance, Dianne Kohler-Barnard at State Security and Siviwe Gwarube at Health.
Mazzone said the party is certain the shadow cabinet will lead the DA forward.
“As is known, John Steenhuisen won his seat as leader of the Democratic Alliance with an overwhelming 80% of Congress delegates voting for him and his manifesto. He has, therefore, appointed the DA shadow cabinet and we are very certain that these men and women and proud South African patriots will lead the Democratic Alliance forward in making sure that we realise our promises and hopes to the South African public.”
DA confirms shadow cabinet reshuffle:
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