Zuma fires Gordhan, cabinet reshuffle expected to be announced soon

Speculation reached fever pitch on Thursday night as President Jacob Zuma was said have replaced Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan with either Sifiso Buthelezi or Malusi Gigaba.

The most high profile scalp was that of Pravin Gordhan, who was sacked as finance minister.

"This is in light of their public pronouncements earlier today, in which it was confirmed that the removal of Gordhan and Jonas was discussed with its leadership, and that the party publically denounces Zuma's assault on the National Treasury and the economy".

The rand fell to R13.29 to the United States dollar on Thursday evening on reports that President Jacob Zuma has started to reshuffle his Cabinet.

Investors were already fretting about Gordhan's job security after Zuma on Monday ordered him to cancel a series of meetings with foreign investors and return home. Stay with EWN for more.

A steep decline in the rand underlined Gordhan's reputation among investors as a guardian of policymaking stability in South Africa.

He is seen as favouring his ex-wife, former African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to succeed him, ahead of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Amongst other things, Mapaila said "we cannot be led by rogue elements outside our structures" and "a country like ours can't allow gross mistakes like the recent ones which cause it to lose so much money".

The rand has weakened 8 percent against the dollar this week, its biggest weekly drop since 2015 when the then finance minister was axed.

Zuma shrugged off pressure from within his own party, the opposition as well as the business circles to keep Gordhan.

"We will not tolerate corruption; we will act forcefully against wastage", he said in his first budget address.

"Longer-term, the ANC will have a hard time recovering from this period of intense instability".

Gigaba is expected to be named minister of finance.

The Economic Freedom Fighters party applied to the Constitutional Court to order parliament to begin impeachment proceedings against Zuma for lying to the legislative body. "The president has clearly taken a politically risky decision to remove a finance minister who is well regarded both domestically and internationally", he said.

  • Leroy Wright