Zuma plans to fire Gordhan – senior ANC officials
President Jacob Zuma has told senior leaders of the South African Communist Party that he plans to fire Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Bloomberg reported this morning.
The news agency said it spoke to three people with knowledge of the matter. They said that Zuma told officials from the party, which is allied to the ANC, during a meeting on Monday in Johannesburg.
Bloomberg’s sources were apparently present and asked not to be identified because a public statement had not been made.
He didn’t say when he planned to fire Gordhan.
Zuma ordered Gordhan to cancel meetings with investors in the UK and the US and return home on Monday, a day after he had flown to London to begin the week-long roadshow.
According to Bloomberg, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the people were misinformed.
Zuma instructed Gordhan and his National Treasury team to immediately return home from an international roadshow without giving reasons for this move.This news sparked speculation that Zuma will soon reshuffle his Cabinet and replace Gordhan as finance minister.
“President Jacob Zuma has instructed the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan and Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas to cancel the international investment promotion roadshow to the United Kingdom and the United States and return to South Africa immediately,” Presidency spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said on Monday.
The news caused the rand to weaken to 12.66 to the US dollar from an earlier 12.31, which was the rand’s best level since June 2015. On Monday afternoon, the rand was trading at 12.63.
Meanwhile, Zuma has joined the Gupta court case, effectively on the other side from Gordhan.
He responded to Standard Bank, which filed a broader application than Gordhan to have the court declare that no part of the executive branch of government can intervene in banks’ relationship with clients.
This was a response to the bizarre behaviour of Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who last year claimed to head a ministerial committee investigation into the closure of the Gupta businesses’ bank accounts.
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