Eastern Cape ANC chief whip Zolile Mrara has been redeployed within the provincial legislature.

Mrara‚ who is also the provincial chairman of the South African Communist Party (SACP)‚ will be swapping positions with provincial executive committee member Fundile Skade‚ who was the chair of the education portfolio committee. The move came into effect on Tuesday. Mrara will now take over as the chair of the committee amid speculation of an imminent provincial cabinet reshuffle.

ANC provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukaitobi confirmed to TimesLIVE that Skade will take over as the chief whip.

Many saw Mrara’s removal as the party’s chief whip as long overdue after he was embroiled in a nepotism scandal in 2015. The Daily Dispatch exposed how he allegedly appointed the mother of his child as a researcher in his office. The Dispatch further reported that Mrara had failed to disclose the appointment to the legislature and to his party‚ leading the SACP to direct him to reverse the appointment.

"Mrara has immense knowledge and experience in education‚ having been the provincial chairman of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union. He is a suitable candidate for the position‚" Ngcukaitobi said.

On Monday, ANC provincial chairman Oscar Mabuyane and his deputy Mlungisi Mvoko were sworn in as the party’s newest members in the provincial legislature.

TimesLIVE has also learnt that the party is due to decide on other changes within the legislature, as there are three more vacancies, later on Tuesday.