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Letter from Ebrahim Rasool to Premier Morkel

27 July 2000

Mr Gerald Morkel

Premier: Western Cape Province

Dear Premier Morkel

Cabinet Reshuffle

I have watched with great interest your announcements regarding the reshuffle of the Western Cape Cabinet. I have noticed that the proposed reshuffle has already been postponed on two occasions. The indications are that you are finally going to announce your new cabinet this weekend.

As leader of the ANC in the Western Cape, and more specifically Leader of the Opposition, I wish to raise the following in relation to the reshuffle of the cabinet:

I believe that the numerous delays in putting your cabinet together relates to the position of Minister Freda Adams who was Minister in your office and is now Acting Minister of Social Services and Poverty Relief. The ANC, as you know, asked in the Legislature for Minister Adams to be investigated regarding allegations of mismanagement of funds granted to the Tonka Bosman School by the Independent Development Trust (IDT).

This investigation, I believe, is now complete, and does indeed indicate substance to the allegations raised by the ANC.

Mr Premier, you have a responsibility to confirm to the people of this Province whether you have completed this investigation into your Minister, to disclose to the public whether she is negatively implicated, and to suspend her immediately and not re-appoint her if it is the case that she is negatively implicated. I say this since you again verbally committed yourself to zero-tolerance on corruption.

You have a duty to disclose to the public whether Minister Adams is implicated rather than hiding behind endless delays in announcing your reshuffle of the Cabinet.

You also have a political and moral duty to ensure that you use this opportunity of a reshuffle to make your cabinet representative of the people of this Province. You cannot announce a cabinet that does not contain a single black African, and neither can you have a cabinet where white members dominate as they currently do. (Currently you have 7 White Ministers and 5 Coloured Ministers).

This is disrespectful to the people of the Province and the exclusion of black Africans translates directly in the inertia and insensitivity displayed by your government in, for example, handling the transport crisis in black African areas. It continues the real feeling of marginalisation of black Africans and the perception in this Province that whites still rule supreme.

Is it also true that another reason for your continuous delay in announcing your new cabinet is a fundamental unhappiness by your own NNP Ministers that they will be shifted to give the Democratic Party Ministers even more power on the cabinet. I refer here to Minister Wiley┬╣s unhappiness that Hennie Bester wants the Safety and Security portfolio at his expense. Given the crime profile of the Western Cape this Province can least afford a fight around this key portfolio.

These, I think, are the three crucial challenges you must meet in the interest of good governance in the Western Cape.

I look forward to your considered response.

Sincerely

Ebrahim Rasool

Leader of the Opposition

Issued by African National Congress Western Cape