I was fired‚ they call it ‘reshuffle’ – Tokyo Sexwale

Businessman Tokyo Sexwale has opened up about how he was recalled from his position as minister of human settlements.

Sexwale along with former communications minister Dina Pule were left out in the cold when President Jacob Zuma reshuffled his cabinet in 2013.

This was Zuma’s fourth cabinet reshuffle in four years since he took office in 2009.

Speaking to Gareth Cliff on Touch Central‚ Sexwale said that it was called a reshuffle at the time but he was actually fired.

“Well I was fired. They call it ‘reshuffle’. President calls and says ‘chief I think I would like to try somebody else in this’‚” said Sexwale.

Recalling the actual day he was informed of the reshuffle‚ Sexwale said he met with Zuma in a ‘nice meeting’ where the president told him that he wants him to do ‘other things’.

“It was a very nice meeting with the president‚ and he said ‘you know I thought I want you to do certain things‚ there are some things I’d like you to do‚ maybe we should just leave you out of this one (human settlement ministry)’‚” recalled Sexwale.

According to Sexwale‚ he was offered a position in the National Assembly as Member of Parliament for a while and then his new position would be announced later‚ a position he declined.

He said that he declined because he did not have time “for this kind of a thing” because he had his businesses that he made a lot of money from.

“I said to the president‚ ‘listen‚ we are buddies‚ we’ve been buddies since Swaziland’‚ I said ‘no let’s cut the crap now‚ find another person there. But for now I will tell you what I may want to do. Let me go back to my positions in society‚ I got a lot to do‚ I can’t be a passenger waiting for this stuff’. It was a very nice discussion‚” said Sexwale.

He reiterated that the conversation was pleasant and that there was no animosity.

“Right now everybody is going at him so it’s very easy for me to manufacture things. Truth must be central all the time.”

Sexwale said that he has not spoken to Zuma in a while but maintained there is no bad blood between them.

“It’s a long time since I’d spoken to him. We’ve never had a bad relationship. The last we spoke there was no problem‚ he came to a conference I had organised‚” he said. –

TMG Digital/Sowetan

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