Pravin Gordhan’s Axing: ANC Washes Its Hands Off Zuma’s Decision


Following Zuma’s decision to finally fire Gordhan and his deputy, among other critics of his, members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) seem to have turned their back on their party leader, saying they were not in support of the new cabinet reshuffling.

Speaking to the media on the ruling party’s reaction at Zuma’s new list of reshuffled ministers, ANC’s Secretary General Gwede Mantashe commented that himself and the rest of the party faithfuls are not happy with the decision.

Though leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema predicted that the anticipated cabinet reshuffle will happen just after Uncle Kathy’s burial, South Africans were not expecting the shocking new list from Zuma at the midnight hours of Thursday, let alone the shocking drama of having the former Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba,with an ANC back-bencher Sifiso Buthelezi coming to take over the state finance department.

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In reaction to the news, Mantashe said the ANC has never supported the move against Gordhan or the reshuffling that has rocked South Africa’s markets and currency.

“We were given a list that was complete and my own view as the Secretary-General, I felt like this list has been developed somewhere else and it’s given to us to legitimize it.

“And my own view is that I’m very uncomfortable because areas where ministers do not perform have not been touched. Ministers have been moved and the majority of them were good performing ministers. I’m very much uncomfortable with it,” Mantashe said to the media.

Looking at the new list, Gordhan, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Peterson, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi and Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom have all been fired by the president while some other serving ministers like Faith Muthambi and Malusi Gigaba, among others, have their ministerial position changed.

Other political personalities outside the ANC have also related their shock at the new changes, saying its the biggest of all reshuffling witnessed in the country so far. Some also argue that the new development was a “Gupta coup” and a final confirmation that Zuma and the entire South African system had been captured.

“The Cabinet reshuffle… [is an] insult to the suffering of millions of South Africans over many decades‚” the Save SA campaign said in a statement shortly after the announcement.

“It is a brazen attempt to undermine the gains of the Liberation struggle by taking power away from the people handing it over to a clique based in Dubai.”

David Maynier, DA MP and shadow finance minister referred to Giga’s appointment as the new finance Minister as one that now proves that the treasury is “now firmly under the political control” of Zuma.

“The new finance minister has extensive experience in the national executive‚ but he has absolutely no experience in the ‘finance family’ and his appointment is unlikely to be well received by the markets‚” he said, pointing fingers at Gigaba’s qualifications as not fitting and an absolute signal of his loyalty to the Presidency.

Looking at its effect on the SA ailing economy, the CEO Initiative, a grouping that includes the chief executives of Investec, Nedbank, Standard Bank and the JSE said the reshuffle and the manner in which it took, “is likely to cause severe damage to an economy that is in dire need of growth and jobs”.

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Meanwhile, the ruling ANC, the South African Communist party (SACP) and every other active citizen have been charged to seize this dreaded opportunity to tighten their fighting belts against Zuma as it is largely believed that he would in a very short while, lose this battle.

And for the ruling ANC, they must now do well to quit rehearsing tortuously slow, pre-democratic praxis, and act with haste.

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