Gordhan to South Africans: Organise!

In his final statement as finance minister, Pravin Gordhan encouraged South Africans to begin mobilising against the protection of individual interests over public interests.

Gordhan and his outgoing deputy Mcebisi Jonas spoke to media at the treasury offices in Pretoria on Friday morning. Their address comes after they were both fired on Thursday night in a Cabinet reshuffle that has been described as a “massacre”. Former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba will replace Gordhan, and ANC MP Sfiso Buthelezi is set to be his deputy.

Gordhan told journalists that he received no call or text messages from the president informing him he had been fired. Instead, he discovered he had been sack on TV.

The reshuffle – which has seen 10 ministers and 10 deputy ministers affected – has been widely rallied against. The Democratic Alliance has said it will file an urgent application to interdict the ministers being sworn in tonight at 6pm.

Former secretary general of Cosatu Zwelinzima Vavi protested with non-governmental organisations outside treasury on Friday. Vavi and Gordhan supporters entered into the press room and stood behind Gordhan as he spoke. It was then announced that protesters had surrounded the treasury building to prevent Gigaba and Buthelezi from entering.

When Gordhan was asked what South Africans should do in response to the reshuffle, he had one word: “Organise”.

“South Africa comes from a rich history of community mobilising and mass mobilising,” he said.

“Fragmented voices don’t have the weight that is required. It’s the organised voices.”

The outgoing minister had a message to all South Africans: “Our souls are not for sale.”

“It’s absolute nonsense”
Gordhan also dismissed an intelligence report Zuma is said to have produced to the ANC’s top 5 to justify Gordhan’s dismissal. The report claims that the outgoing finance minister and Jonas planned secret meetings during their international roadshow to overthrow the government.

“This is absolute nonsense,” Gordhan said. “This is not basis to fire finance minister and [the deputy finance minister].”

He rubbished the report as being “amateur” and said it “sickens me” that he is alleged to have had secret meetings to undermine the state.

It was widely rumoured that Gordhan met with Mantashe on Tuesday after being called to be briefed on a Cabinet reshuffle. The meeting followed his arrival in Johannesburg after Zuma told him to “immediately” return from the investor roadshow in London.

He clarified what happened in his meeting with Mantashe, saying that he and Jonas had called to meet the ANC secretary general at Luthuli House, the ANC headquarters, because they were “fascinated” by the reasons why they had been instructed to return.

Mantashe has since reacted to the Cabinet reshuffle saying that it appears the decisions on the affected ministers and deputies were made “somewhere else”. The ANC secretary general said that the ANC top 5 were not consulted on the reshuffle, they were informed about it.

Gordhan meanwhile has said that he will continue to remain a member of Parliament.

“We are not here to complain about anything. We’re grown-ups. We understand we can’t hold these titles for our lifetime,” he said. 

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

Sandf colonel accused of swindling colleagues in UN business scam

A senior soldier who is part of South Africa’s peacekeeping missions is accused by her colleagues of swindling them out of of hundreds of thousands of rands in a nonexistent business deal

AU pushes the frontiers of transitional justice

Now these important policy developments must be implemented

Mass store and job cuts at Massmart

Changed market conditions and an appalling economy has hit low end cash-and-carry outlets

Courts to guide land expropriation

Two bits of law need to be approved before a court can decide if land owners will be compensated
Advertising

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.