Opposition party calls for security minister to quit

Johannesburg- South Africa (PANA) -- The opposition Freedom Front party has demanded the immediate resignation of the country's Safety and Security Minister Steve Tshwete for what it said was the "extremely poor handling" of the alleged plot to oust President Thabo Mbeki from power.
"The repudiation of Tshwete by President Mbeki was the final confirmation that his management of the whole saga leaves much to be desired," said the Freedom Front in a statement attributed to Pieter Groenewald.
"Tshwete has damaged the image of the country internationally, as was confirmed by the Secretary General of the ANC and Mr.
Tshwete cannot afford to stay in this important position for a moment longer," the statement said.
It added: "South Africa urgently needs a minister that could properly address the present crime wave and that will create trust here and abroad through purposeful and well-considered action.
" "The Freedom Front is of the opinion that Mr.
Tshwete is definitely not the suitable person for this position and must immediately be replaced by somebody that can actually do it," said the statement.
"His ill-considered action by naming Cyril Ramaphosa, Tokyo Sexwale and Matthews Phosa as suspects in the alleged conspiracy against Mbeki and ordering an investigation without them being officially charged, can have far-reaching implications for the government and it is unacceptable.
Up to now, Mr.
Tshwete could also not give an acceptable explanation to justify his actions.
" Two weeks ago Tshwete surprised South Africans with his allegations against Ramaphosa, Sexwale and Phosa when he said that the three senior ANC officials were conspiring to remove Mbeki from the presidency.
The three have denied the charges.
Observers from both within South Africa and abroad, however, have questioned the wisdom of Tshwete's statement.

07 may 2001 09:11:00




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