The Democratic Alliance shadow minister of police, Dianne Kohler Barnard, has been removed from her position, the official opposition party announced on Saturday.
Kohler Barnard has been moved to shadow deputy minister of public works.
A social media storm erupted this week after it emerged the member of Parliament had, about two weeks ago, shared a Facebook post by journalist Paul Kirk, in which he declared: “Please come back PW Botha – you were far more honest than any of these [African National Congress] rogues, and you provided a far better service to the public…”.
Speaking to News24, acting spokesperson for DA leader Mmusi Maimane, Graham Charters, said while the move was part of the party’s “strategic alignment” for the upcoming elections, the announcement came early.
“We were meant to make the announcement at a slightly later date, but with the recent controversies we felt it best to make the announcement early. We believe going forward the people in their respective positions are optimal for the party’s future.”
Kohler Barnard will be replaced by Zakhele Mbhele as the party’s shadow minister of police. Marius Redelinghuys will take up a position as his deputy.
Other big changes included Gavin Davis as the party’s new shadow minister of basic education. Phumzile van Damme takes over the communications portfolio.
Johni Edwards becomes the shadow deputy minister of environmental affairs‚ Terri Stander has been named as shadow deputy minister of public enterprises‚ and Erik Marais as shadow deputy minister in the presidency.
Annette Lovemore assumes the role of shadow minister of public service and administration while Patricia Kopane is the new shadow minister of public works.
Bridget Masango is the new shadow minister of social development.