President Jacob Zuma has informed the ANC’s top six of plans to remove finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
This follows renewed speculation about Gordhan’s future after Zuma on Monday recalled Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas from roadshows in London and the US aimed at investors and ratings agencies‚ triggering renewed speculation of a cabinet reshuffle.
The finance minister was believed to the main target of a reshuffle.
Gordhan arrived at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday morning and proceeded straight to Luthuli House. He was seen entering the sixth floor – which hosts ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe’s office.
The ANC’s top six spent Monday in marathon talks with the six leaders of the SA Communist Party‚ whose members have previously threatened to resign from cabinet if Zuma moves against Gordhan.
The Times understands that at yesterday’s meeting the SACP was due to raise concerns about the lack of constraints on Zuma’s prerogative to appoint and fire ministers.
The meeting was described as tense, convened shortly after the SACP gave the ANC an ultimatum to deal with the Guptas, former Eskom CEO and now ANC MP Brian Molefe, and the social grants crisis.
The decision to recall Gordhan and Jonas from the roadshows led to Treasury officials trying to explain to prospective investors who had agreed to meet Team SA – Treasury, business and labour representatives – why the roadshow was cancelled, without themselves having a clue.
A source associated with the trip said: “It is a mess. Many of those [in the] delegation are leaving tonight and are paying for the trip themselves. The Treasury said it can’t pay for everyone. Most people agreed to join for the good of the economy. Now all of that is wasted.”
A National Treasury spokesperson said she had no knowledge of rumours that the finance minister planned to resign.