President Jacob Zuma has reshuffled his cabinet, which included firing finance minister Pravin Gordhan and deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas.
This announcement followed news that Zuma has summoned the rest of the ANC’s top six to an urgent meeting in Pretoria.
The ANC National Executive Committee officials — Cyril Ramaphosa‚ Baleka Mbete‚ Gwede Mantashe‚ Jessie Duarte, and Zweli Mkhize — were called to a meeting at short notice in the presidential home, Mahlambandlopfu, at 18:30.
Gordhan has been removed as finance minister and is replaced by the Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba.
Jonas is replaced by ANC MP Sfiso Buthelezi, an economist who resigned as the COO of the Makana Investment Corporation before joining parliament.
Buthelezi served as an Alternate Non-Executive Director of Cadiz Holdings Ltd. from May 2004 until November 2010.
He has also served as the economic adviser to Zuma when the latter was the economic development MEC of KwaZulu-Natal.
Statement by President Jacob Zuma
I have decided to make changes to the National Executive in order 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.
I have directed the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers to work tirelessly with their colleagues to bring about radical socio-economic transformation and to ensure that the promise of a better life for the poor and the working class becomes a reality.
The new members are the following:
- Minister of Energy, Ms Mmamoloko “Nkhensani” Kubayi
- Minister of Transport, Mr Joe Maswanganyi
- Minister of Finance, Mr Malusi Gigaba
- Minister of Police, Mr Fikile Mbalula
- Minister of Public Works, Mr Nathi Nhleko,
- Minister of Sports and Recreation, Mr Thembelani Nxesi
- Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa
- Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Faith Muthambi
- Minister of Home Affairs, Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize
- Minister of Communications, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo
- Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba
- Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Sifiso Buthelezi
- Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Ben Martins
- Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Maggie Sotyu
- Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Gratitude Magwanishe
- Deputy Minister of Communications, Ms Thandi Mahambehlala,
- Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe
- Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Bongani Mkongi
- Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
- Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Nomathemba November.
I wish to extend his gratitude to the outgoing Ministers and Deputy Ministers for their service to the country. I also wish the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers the best in their new responsibilities.
Not a surprise
The SACP, an alliance partner of the ANC, confirmed earlier on Thursday that Zuma told the party on Wednesday that he planned to fire Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas based on an “intelligence report”.
The report contains claims that Gordhan and Jonas were going to use the trip to the UK and US to push for a change in government.
Gordhan was summarily recalled from the UK leg of the trip on Monday. Zuma gave no official reasons.
The report stated that Gordhan, Jonas, and Treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile had set up “secret meetings” to start “operation Check Mate”, with plans to tell investors that they stood together against Zuma and the corruption of the Guptas.
The rand has plummeted against major currencies on the news of Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle, as shown by the USD to ZAR graph below.