Intelligence report made Zuma recall Gordhan

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma sacked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in a cabinet reshuffle late on Thursday, eNCA television said, after days of speculation that has rocked the country's markets and currency.

Earlier yesterday‚ reports emerged that Zuma was facing a rebellion within his party‚ with the Bloomberg news agency quoting sources as saying that about 12 of his ministers were considering resigning and then fighting for his removal. The rand was down 0.7 percent, bringing this week's losses against the dollar to 5 percent after the sudden recall of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan from a London investor roadshow.

He is also fighting a court order that could reinstate nearly 800 corruption charges against him over a multi-billion dollar arms deal in the 1990s.

Gordhan said "yes" in response to a question on whether he was still the finance minister.

Gigaba has been Home Affairs Minister, while Buthelezi did not hold a position in the cabinet and was a backbencher in parliament.

Gordhan also attended the application for a declaratory order, at the Pretoria High Court, that he could not intervene on behalf of the politically-connected Gupta family in commercial banks' decision to close their accounts.

BLSA further accused Zuma of failing to provide policy clarity, certainty and effective administration, noting that these failures would ramp up the costs and risks of investing in South Africa.

According to the two sources, the offer is under a deal with opponents in his ruling party that would see Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan leave office now.

EFF leader Julius Malema likened the report to the work of a "child in early childhood development classes".

But former president Kgalema Motlanthe's eulogy contained the most hard-hitting criticisms of Zuma, using Kathrada's own words calling for Zuma to step down to thunderous applause - including from his own ministers.

Analysts have widely understood that Gordhan represents an "anti-Zuma" faction within the ANC, that stands opposed to the system of patronage built up by Zuma during his presidency. State broadcaster SABC said a total of 15 ministers and their deputies would be moved.

Talk Radio 702 said Gordhan's dismissal had been discussed on Monday at talks between Zuma and the South African Communist Party, allies of the ANC.

"I have therefore written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Baleka Mbete, in this regard, indicating our intention to have the motion debated and voted on by Parliament once it is back in session", says DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

  • Leroy Wright