The changes were made to the ensure there was a synergy between the party's parliamentary leadership and its national leadership, Mantashe said. "These changes are meant to reflect an intention to show that there is a link between the National Executive Committee and the party's leadership in Parliament."
The reshuffle also saw National Assembly Speaker and ANC chairwoman Baleka Mbete receiving additional responsibilities as the new leader of the party's political committee in Parliament.
Other members elected to the political committee included wife of the party's former Chief Whip and convicted fraudster Tony Yengeni, Lumka and SA Communist Party deputy secretary general Jeremy Cronin.
Mantashe dismissed criticism that there could be a conflict of interest with Mbete being both Speaker and ANC chairperson. "Any party that raises issues of conflict of interest is actually mischievous." There was nothing wrong with MPs being given tasks by their parties, he said.
Asked about suggestions that ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe would be deployed to Cabinet, Mantashe said the ANC was "not preoccupied" with that. "We are preoccupied with the smooth relationship between party structures and those deployed in government."
Mantashe said the atmosphere of the meeting between the ANC caucus and the party's national office bearers had been "quite cordial, warm and nice". Mbete also dismissed suggestions that the new appointments could compromise parliament's oversight role.
She said oversight by the ruling party of its government officials was "a fundamental part" of governance and done by all political parties."There isn't a thing that says we are not supposed to talk to each other. The whipery is the centre that keeps in touch with the party."