SACP confirms Zuma’s intentions to axe Gordhan and Jonas

The South African Communist Party (SACP) confirmed in a statement on Thursday that President Jacob Zuma had told its members that he planned to replace Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas in a Cabinet reshuffle.

“The SACP wish to state that as the norm, the president informed us of his intention to effect a Cabinet reshuffle, replacing both the minister and the deputy minister of finance,” SACP deputy secretary general Solly Mapaila said.

A furious Mapaila told journalists that Zuma’s instruction for Gordhan to return to South Africa immediately while he was on an investor roadshow in the United Kingdom was unreasonable. He also said that the emergence of an “intelligence report”, which Zuma is said to have shown the ANC’s top six in an effort to prove Gordhan is planning to overthrow the president, is unbelievable.

“How can we believe that,” Mapaila said. “We are not children.”

The SACP statement on Thursday confirmed earlier reports that Zuma had met with the ANC alliance partner on Monday and discussed the removal of Gordhan. Mapaila said that the SACP didn’t agree that Gordhan and Jonas should be fired. 

“We recorded our objection to the intended reshuffle,” he said.

He further said that the SACP “questioned” the “intelligence information” that was given them.

The Mail & Guardian has been reliably informed that the ANC’s top six has also rejected the “intelligence report” Zuma produced to show Gordhan had sinister intentions in his meetings with overseas investors

Former Eskom chief executive and current MP Brian Molefe has been tipped to be the next finance minister if Gordhan is axed. But the SACP opposed the inclusion of Molefe into the executive.

“He must never be brought into any executive position,” Mapaila said.

The Cabinet met on Wednesday afternoon for its usual fortnightly meeting. A statement will be released later today on what transpired in the meeting and if Gordhan’s removal had been addressed.

The SACP meanwhile has said it is “gravely concerned” about the “growing abuse of state security organs”. Mapaila says the party has issued a complaint to the inspector general of intelligence, but they received a “flippant” response. 

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Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.

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