South Africa's Rand Extends Slump as Zuma Fires Finance Minister

Deputy President Ramaphosa and some deputy ministers may also resign, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information isn't public.

Pressure has been growing on Zuma to step down after he recalled Gordhan, who has a strong reputation as a bulwark against corruption, from a trade trip in London earlier this week. The recall caused South Africa's rand to lose almost 5 percent, another blow to Africa's most industrialized economy that has stalled amid high unemployment.

According to reports, Zuma has axed nine ministers and six deputy ministers after an impromptu meeting of the African National Congress (ANC) top six.

It has held power since Mandela won the euphoric first post-apartheid election in 1994, but has lost popularity due to corruption allegations, record unemployment and slow economic growth.

The main opposition Democratic Alliance party said Thursday it would push for a vote of no-confidence in parliament, though Zuma has survived several such motions in the past.

He will be replace by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.

But even allies of the ruling party had warned against replacing Gordhan.

Party second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila confirmed to journalists at a media briefing that President Jacob Zuma had informed the party of his intention to remove Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, and his motive for wanting to do so, but the party rejected both the intent and the reasoning behind it. The president summoned Gordhan back to South Africa from an investor roadshow in London on March 27.

Separately, the radical opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party filed a request for the Constitutional Court to institute impeachment proceedings against the president.

Earlier this week, President Zuma recalled Mr Gordhan from planned events in the UK.

The court previous year found Zuma guilty of violating the constitution after he refused to repay taxpayers' money used to refurbish his private rural house.

  • Leroy Wright