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Jacob Zuma Laughing

According to News24, President Jacob Zuma has just fired finance minister Pravin Gordhan, after days of speculation. African National Congress (ANC) member of parliament Sfiso Norbert Buthelezi has been named as Gordhan’s likely replacement.

This comes after the President called Gordhan home from an investment roadshow in London on Monday, 27 March. Several other ministers and deputy ministers, including public enterprises minister Lynne Brown, tourism minister Derek Hanekom, and social development minister Bathabile Dlamini have also been sacked or redeployed, according to News24. Twitterbro and joker in chief Fikile Mbalula (apparently our now-former sports minister) has reportedly been appointed Minister of Police.

The Mail & Guardian, meanwhile, reported that Gordhan was fired at 21:22 in an article titled “Report: President Jacob Zuma has fired finance minister, Pravin Gordhan”. Confirmation of Gordhan’s firing was only around 22:19, according to News24.

The market is expected to react negatively to the news, once again manifesting the shocking indirect power a human resources decision in the halls of government can have on the broader economy. Meanwhile, South Africans continue to place blame with the person of Jacob Zuma, rather than the immense power which the office of the President and the finance ministry wields.

As I opined in December 2015:

“Gordhan, a communist, will at least not be perceived as a total puppet to the whims of Jacob Zuma. But as I have pointed out repeatedly, in our style and system of government, the President, and moreover the ruling party’s National Executive Committee, will always get what they want in the end.”

The SA Communist Party has made its displeasure about Gordhan’s sacking clear, with some political analysts speculating that the Tripartite Alliance itself will fall apart. Gordhan is a SACP stalwart.

Buthelezi has been a member of the parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance since April 2016, and the former Chairperson of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa Board. According to News24, Buthelezi is known for “criticising National Treasury for not taking a tougher stance against corporates“.

There have been reports that Jacob Zuma has agreed to resign next year in exchange for condonation of his decision to sack Gordhan by fellow NEC members.

An official announcement by government is expected soon.

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Martin is the Editor in Chief of the Rational Standard, the Legal Researcher at the Free Market Foundation, the Academic Programs Director for Southern Africa at Students For Liberty, as well as the Editor in Chief of Being Libertarian. Martin holds an LLB from the University of Pretoria. His articles represent his own views and beliefs, and not that of any of the aforementioned organizations.
  • Steven van Staden

    What a disaster the ANC has been. A nightmare come true. I’ve always wondered why the severest criticism of the party has been directed specifically against Zuma rather than the ANC as a whole. After all, the ANC appointed Zuma with his myriad corruption charges and continued to support him as a recidivist, regardless of the harm inflicted on all S Africans, and now apparently they have allowed him to sack Godhan. I suppose the party will split and Malema will merge his dreaded EFF with the dreaded dregs of the worst ANC faction, destroying the coalition with the DA and altering the balance of power. Having blamed Zuma for the ANC’s sins, the media and many commentators should take responsibility if those ANC supporters who were maturing to a better party now rethink and decide to protract the rule of ‘the best’ of the splitters. The ANC said of the NP that it had done so much harm that it could not re-invent itself and had to die. I feel this applies to the ANC, but I fear it will be a very slow death, but something to hope for. I look forward to some insight on the repercussions and hope my worst fears are not entirely accurate! Thanks for this lovely bedtime news! At least nightmares can’t be worse than this.

    • Harald Sitta

      interesting times, indeed!

      • Steven van Staden

        Horrifying times!

        • Harald Sitta

          Africa is nor for sissies 🙂 Andrea Merkl and EUdSSR are worse…..

  • Harald Sitta

    bANCana republic ….