Finance minister’s summon by the Hawks has raised disturbing issues centering on the possibility of having a new financial minister should Pravin get kicked out.
Though removing Gordhan from the ministerial office could further tear down Zuma’s government and possibly lead to his fall, a lot believe that his witch-hunt is a ploy by President Jacob Zuma to gain control of the keys to the National Treasury.
Based on the above, political economic analyst pointed out four important dignitaries they believe could fit into the shoes of Pravin Gordhan if “Zuma decides to go for cabinet reshuffling.” They are:
Brian Molefe, the Interim Chief Executive Officer of Eskom Holdings SOC Limited
Sfiso N. Buthelezi, the Executive Chairman at Autshumatu Investments (Proprietary) Limited and close ally of President Zuma
Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, Former Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa
Des van Rooyen, Current Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
However, political economist Daniel Silke told Fin24 that whoever is chosen to replace Pravin Gordhan would suffer a high rated political interference just as he (Gordhan) and his predecessor Nhlanhla Musa Nene.
The analyst said such person can not avoid being affected by the strong wind of political interference or being tainted with the brush of political interference. And, would be a puppet in the hands of those determined to get their hands on Treasury.
“It’s a perception that even the most sophisticated amount of political spin and PR won’t change,” he said.
Finance minister Gordhan Pravin alongside few others, was summoned by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks) to obtain a warning statement from him, which he later refused to grant.
A number of SA citizens including political parties believe the minister’s arrest could have a swift and awful effect on South Africa, particularly the economy.
The speculation of a successor for Gordhan follows a renewed onslaught from the Hawks, which could see him either arrested or forced to quit.
Thus, markets economist Peter Attard Montalto opined that the main problem SA would face is the appointment of a replacement to facilitate tenderpreneurship and patronage.
He however, indicated that two key criteria can not be overlooked when making a choice of replacement.
The candidate Montalto said, must be fiscally conservative and anti-patronage (someone who would uphold the Public Finance Management Act).
“For Gordhan, however, this is a highly problematic scenario that is likely to make his job impossible to execute in any meaningful way. Either way, a ‘Gordhangate’ would leave us – and the currency – reeling,” added Montalto.
Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma expressed his “full support and confidence” in Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, asserting that the Minister has not been found guilty of any wrong doing.
He nonetheless, argued that he does not have the power to stop any investigations into any individuals, including the minister.