Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has now opened up on the shocking news of his firing by President Jacob Zuma.
Holding a briefing in Pretoria, following Zuma’s early Cabinet reshuffle, the former Finance Minister whose efforts towards South Africa’s economic transformation, have been largely praised, came to bid his colleagues farewell.
Speaking to a large number of South Africans present, the former finance minister said President Jacob Zuma’s decision to axe him and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas based on a so-called intelligence report sickens him.
“This is a so-called intelligence report, which said, among others, the two of us and Director General Fuzile Lungisa are involved in a massive conspiracy to undermine this country. If you read it, it’s absolute nonsense. This is not the basis on which you fire.”
Gordhan however, asked staff members to remain professional and respectful at all times. He’s also appealed for workers to give newly appointed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and his deputy Sfiso Buthelezi a warm welcome as they are expected at the offices later.
President Jacob Zuma said in his announcement on Thursday night, that his decision to reshuffle the cabinet was to enhance radical economic transformation. This he reiterated on Friday morning while defending his decision.
Gordhan had last year vowed to protect the nation’s treasury even if he had to sacrifice his life in the process. The former minister, who was speaking in reaction to the renewed plans to have him removed from office last year, vowed to defend the South African treasury from political thieves with the last drop of his blood.
A defiant Gordhan encouraged his staff to remain committed to their duties and work with whoever is the minister of finance but pointed out that he would never back down from fighting corruption and that he is very prepared to die to save the country from thieves who are willing to ruin the country through corruption.
As he officially leaves the treasury seat, South Africans believe he would keep to his words of fighting corruption and protecting the country.
While Gordhan addressed staff inside the Treasury offices, a group of demonstrators were heard chanting “hands off Treasury”. The protesters, who were wearing Save SA t-shirts, waved their banners saying “Integrity Must Rise” while the South African flag also featured prominently.
Zwelinzima Vavi and Zelda la Grange are among those gathered.