The SA Communist Party (SACP) has lashed out at President Jacob Zuma's latest Cabinet reshuffle calling it an attack on the tripartite alliance.
"We emphatically reject these manoeuvres that place the alliance on the brink of disintegration. Our view is that this is not a reshuffle but the targeted removal of Comrade Blade [Nzimande] as a direct attack on the SACP," it said shortly after the reshuffle on Tuesday.
The SACP said the aim of a Cabinet reshuffle "must be to strengthen the capacity of the state".
"But in this case that is not the intention, especially with the retention of so many dead woods and compromised individuals in Cabinet."
The party called the move by Zuma a "continued authoritarianism" that disregarded protocols and relations, of the tripartite alliance between the SACP, ANC and Cosatu.
"[This] has plunged the alliance into unchartered waters. In fact this action, more than anything else, also compromises and further tarnishes the image of the ANC itself."
Alliance not consulted
According to the SACP, the reshuffle was done without consultation of the alliance.
"[This] is nothing but a response to the popular call, led by the SACP and Cosatu, for the president to resign."
The party said that the removal of Nzimande from the Cabinet would not silence the SACP "from the leading role it has played to expose and confront state capture.
"Instead, the SACP is even more committed to continuing with its leading role in waging the struggle against state capture and corruption."
The SACP said the removal of Nzimande from Cabinet was "part of Zuma's manoeuvres to secure successful election of his ordained successor" at the forthcoming ANC December national conference.
"It is a well-known fact that the malady of corruption, governance decay and state capture has worsened exponentially under the incumbency of President Zuma and his friends, the Gupta family."
The SACP said the numerous calls for Zuma to step down were based on "the many problems of corruption, governance decay and state capture under his watch".
Nzimande was the only casualty in President Jacob Zuma's second reshuffle in less than seven months.
Show of force
Zuma announced that after "careful consideration", he decided to make six changes to his Cabinet that includes shifting ministers who had just been appointed to new portfolios during the controversial late night March reshuffle, labelled the "night of the long knives".
The changes include shifting Hlengiwe Mkhize to the higher education portfolio to replace Nzimande. The only new addition is the relatively unknown Bongani Thomas Bongo as state security minister.
Ousting Nzimande is seen as a show of force and clamping down on dissent in his Cabinet, as the general secretary of the SACP has led the charge for Zuma to go.
Relations between Zuma and Nzimande have been described to be at an all-time low, as the SACP that had propelled him to power, turned out to be one of his biggest critics.
The party, which is in an alliance with the ANC, has called for Zuma to step down and has banned him from addressing its events.