South Africa's new finance minister notes 'mutual suspicion'

President Zuma reshuffled his cabinet a few minutes after Thursday midnight with Gordhan losing his job including four other ministers.

Zuma and Gordhan were at loggerheads for a year over the National Treasury's efforts to root out cronyism in state owned companies.

"We have consistently said, and maintain, the belief that no one is above the ANC, and no one is irreplaceable".

However, Zuma's reshuffle rallied support among powerful sections of the party that are hostile to banking interests they see Gordhan as representing.

South Africa's Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan (L) greets Winnie Madikizela-Mandela during the funeral of Ahmed Kathrada, who was sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Nelson Mandela, at the Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg, South Africa on March 29. This led to Zuma calling on Gordhan to cancel the global investment roadshows to Britain and the U.S. and immediately return to the country this week.

Political worries are once again nibbling at the South African rand, after President Zuma's latest unorthodox government appointment raised investor fears that he could try to unseat the country's internationally-respected finance minister. However, on Thursday the South African Communist Party said the president had informed it he was planning to fire him because he suspected Mr Gordhan of trying to overthrow the government.

ANC Youth League leader Collen Maine has however praised the cabinet changes calling the new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba "experienced and intelligent".

As for Gordhan, he's already called to wish Gigaba and his new deputy luck and will meet with them on Monday for a formal handover.

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Pravin Gordhan first served as finance minister between 2009 and 2014.

George said Zuma did not learn a lesson from December 9 2015, when he appointed an unknown MP as finance minister.

"I have told him that I would not agree with him on his reasoning to remove the minister of finance".

The report alleged that Gordhan planned to meet with foreign forces in an attempt to overthrow the state during their planned trip overseas this week. He and Jonas delivered a lengthy press conference, surrounded by treasury staff who sang anti-apartheid struggle anthems to the outgoing officials.

South Africa's new ministers and deputy ministers will be sworn in at 1600 GMT on Friday, President Jacob Zuma's office said.

At the time, the three ratings agencies warned of possible future downgrades on the back of the country's slowing growth and continued political infighting.

"We therefore urge all political parties, including members of the ANC, to vote President Jacob Zuma out when (our) motion of no confidence is debated in the National Assembly", said the party's leader Mmusi Maimane.

"It is imperative that popular anger is mobilised and organised in constructive ways that unite South Africans of all persuasions and backgrounds in the defence of our country's interests", the party was quoted as saying. "In the longer term, however, it may lead to the downfall of Zuma and his patronage, which will certainly be a good thing for South Africa", said economist Dawie Roodt.


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