Chamber of Mines concerned about 'recall' of Gordhan and deputy minister

JOHANNESBURG/PRETORIA South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan abandoned an investor roadshow and flew home on Tuesday on the orders of President Jacob Zuma, triggering speculation about his future that weakened the country's currency and bonds.

According to the report, Gordhan, Jonas and Treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile had set up "secret meetings" to start "operation Check Mate" and to tell investors they stood together against Zuma and the corruption of the Guptas.

Soon after his return to South Africa, Gordhan was seen at the headquarters in Johannesburg of the ruling African National Congress party.

Meanwhile the rand has fallen to R13.41 against the dollar.

"We came here to a lodge a complaint with the Constitutional Court, asking the Constitutional Court to direct parliament to institute disciplinary proceedings against the president of the Republic of South Africa who was found to have breached his oath of office by this highest court", Malema said.

The finance minister and his deputy were surprisingly recalled from London on Monday by Mr Zuma as they were preparing for an worldwide investor roadshow, at which they were officially tasked with showcasing South Africa's investment potential.

Zuma's move to cut short the finance minister's roadshow is a concern for the country, Mkhize said at an event in Johannesburg Wednesday.

The main opposition leader, Mmusi Maimane of the Democratic Alliance, announced plans to bring a motion of no confidence against Zuma in parliament after his intention to fire Gordhan was confirmed.

As meetings took place behind closed doors, speculation whirled that Zuma was informing the political top brass that he was finally firing Gordhan after months of animosity between the two.

"We objected both to the removal of the comrades as well as the intended replacements ... even the reasons given", Mapaila said referring to Gordhan and Jonas.

The rand traded 0.7 percent firmer on Thursday after a brief resurgence on Wednesday when sources within the ANC told Reuters there was a split among its six most senior officials over whether Gordhan should be sacked.

Explaining why he wanted a new finance minister, Zuma reportedly cited an "intelligence report" which suggested that Gordhan and Jonas were conspiring with forces in the West to overthrow him.

ANN7 reported that Brian Molefe, ex-head of state utility Eskom, and former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, were not in the running to replace Gordhan.

Global rating agencies, such as Fitch and S&P, have repeatedly approved South Africa's credit rating above "junk" level over the past year mainly because of private investor trust in Gordhan and the feasibility of his reform effort. Mr. Zuma did not attend at the request of Kathrada's family.

  • Leroy Wright