Confirmed: Presidency announces Gordhan out, Gigaba in as finance minister

President Jacob Zuma has confirmed that former Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba is the new finance minister, replacing Pravin Gordhan. His deputy is Sfiso Buthelezi, an ANC member of parliament, who has been long rumoured to replace Mcebisi Jonas.

In a statement released after midnight on Friday morning following a meeting of the ANC top six, Zuma said the Cabinet was reshuffled “to improve efficiency and effectiveness”.

“The changes bring some younger MPS and women into the National Executive in order to benefit from their energy, experience and expertise”.

Changes were also made in the ministries of energy, transport, police, public works, sports and recreation, tourism, public service, and communication.

Zuma’s announcement that Gordhan has been axed comes on the eve before the finance minister is due to approve a bid by Gupta-allies to buy Habib Bank. Major banks in South Africa have refused to do business with Gupta-owned companies, leaving them without a bank.


The job to approve the Gupta-Habib Bank deal will now fall on the shoulders of Gigaba, who is a known Zuma loyalist. In 2016, Gigaba referred to ANC veterans who called on Zuma to step down as “so-called stalwarts” who are “ill-disciplined”. In 2014, the Mail & Guardian revealed that state security agents had investigated a mysterious offshore bank account open in Gigaba’s name in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

Mbalula is the new police minister
Before the Presidency made its announcement, an irritated Fikile Mbalula, the now former minister of sports and recreation, addressed rumours he would be police minister via his Twitter account.

“I’ve not being appointed anywhere am still minister of things Sport please STOP,” Mbalula tweeted.

Mbalula’s has now replaced Nathi Nhleko as the minister of police. Earlier in March, a high court ruled that Nhleko’s appointment of Berning Ntlemeza as Hawk’s boss was invalid. Mbalula, too, is a known Zuma loyalist.

The ministers who were ousted
Tourism minister Derek Hanekom, who is one of three ministers reported to have asked Zuma to step down during a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in late 2016, has also been fired. His replacement is the now former deputy minister of tourism, Tokozile Xasa.

Energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson was also axed on Thursday night. Her replacement, Mmamoloko Kubayi, an ANC MP, will now be responsible for the nuclear deal with Russia, that could force South Africa to loan up to R1.2-trillion if it goes through.

The reaction to the speculation of a Cabinet reshuffle has seen the rand plunge by more than 3% on Thursday night. The Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane issued a statement immediately after Zuma announced the reshuffle, calling on Parliament to take action.

“It is Parliament who hired Jacob Zuma and it is Parliament that can can fire him,” Maimane said.

Earlier on Thursday, the Economic Freedom Fighters filed papers at the Constitutional Court requesting the court to Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete to begin the process for possible impeachment or a disciplinary procedure.

Zuma has faced increasing calls to step down or account for his actions since allegations of a state capture by the Gupta family emerged. In response to questions earlier on Thursday on whether Zuma would reshuffle the Cabinet, the president simply laughed.

Zuma has not yet provided detailed reasons on why each of the ministers and deputy ministers were axed.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

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

Related stories

Editorial: ANC, stop hurting our country

The ANC either does not understand the best interests of those it was elected to serve — or it knows and doesn’t care

Mokonyane: ‘There was nothing untoward about the ANC’s Bosasa ties’

The former minister likened the controversial firm to any other private sponsor of the governing party

Mokonyane ‘sets the record straight’ at Zondo commission

Speaking before the Zondo commission, the former minister refuted claims by Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi that she had dodgy ties to the firm

Saving southern Africa’s oldest languages

The decline of N|uu dates all the way back to 1652, when the first Europeans arrived by ship at the Cape of Good Hope.

A week of dodging bullets

Sani the barber and uBaba risk their lives, while Helen, Queen of the Karens, fires off another salvo

New delay in Zuma case as Thales challenges racketeering charges

The former president’s bid for an October trial date seems set to fail
Advertising

New education policy on gender violence released

Universities and other higher education institutions have to develop ways of preventing or dealing with rape and other damaging behaviour

Cambridge Food Jozini: Pandemic or not, the price-gouging continues

The Competition Commission has fined Cambridge Food Jozini for hiking the price of its maize meal during April

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday