Published: Sat, April 08, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

New South Africa finance minister Gigaba calls for radical reform

As concerns grew that loyalists of the president might see an opening for graft, he added: "South Africa is not for sale". "However it is to ensure that such decisions made can be owned, justified and defended by the leadership collective in the interest of the ANC and the people of South Africa", says Mkhize.

Axed finance minister, Pravin Gordhan is calling for mass mobilisation against the current problems facing the country. "We have a weaker currency, we are likely to get a weaker currency and that's going to have an impact on interest rates and inflation", economist Mike Schussler said.

Analysts have said such populism is aimed at the ANC's rural political base.

The inexperienced finance minister said he would also consult Gordhan for advice.

Gordhan was in the midst of his yearly investor roadshow to the United Kingdom and the U.S., trying to convince ratings agencies that the country is politically stable, when he was summarily hauled back home by Zuma.

"Whatever has happened doesn't mean we won't be professional", Gordhan said in his farewell press event where many supporters gave him a standing ovation. Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba replaced Gordhan.

Gordhan became South Africa's finance minister after Zuma's abrupt decision in December 2015 to fire Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and replace him with David van Rooyen, a relatively unknown figure, which unsettled markets and prompted a national outcry.

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He said both he and Jonas had joined the liberation struggle as youths to help bring South Africa to where it is today.

President Jacob Zuma's midnight sacking of the widely-respected Gordhan shook South African markets on Friday, undermining his authority and threatening to split the ANC that has governed since the end of apartheid. The famously adept political organizer called on South Africans to mobilize. "Ministers who have been moved, the majority of them are performing ministers", Mantashe told Talk Radio 702. "South Africans must not pay for nonsense that happens elsewhere", News 24 quoted Gordhan as saying.

It is unclear why Mr Gordhan was sacked but local media are pointing to an alleged intelligence report which accuses him of working with foreigners to undermine Mr Zuma's administration.

Despite mulling over SACP ministers' resignations last week, the party said they would stay in place for the time being due to their "responsibility to serve a massive constituency and the country at large - now more than ever".

As the South African President Jacob Zuma ousted Pravin Gordhan and other top ministers, inviting economic uncertainties for the country, rand slumped four per cent against the U.S. dollar.

"I will be guided by my conscience if that actually happens and hopefully do the right thing, whatever that might be", he said, when asked whether he would support a motion of no confidence against Zuma in Parliament.

South Africa's two main opposition parties took aim at the president on Thursday, with one appealing to the highest court to order impeachment proceedings and the other announcing it will launch a vote of no confidence in Zuma.

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