He was briefing the media in Pretoria on Friday, following his recall by President Jacob Zuma on Thursday night. Zuma also removed Gordhan’s deputy Mcebisi Jonas in the major Cabinet reshuffle that has been likened to a purge.
Responding to a question on what the public should do now that they had been fired, Gordhan said: “What should the public do? Organise.” This led to a rapturous applause from those present.
The respected bean-counter, said they were not “walking out of the door voluntarily”, adding the so-called intelligence report that had been used to justify their firing was “absolute nonsense”.
Gordhan has been replaced by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and Jonas by Sfiso Buthelezi.
Jonas described the intelligence report as nonsensical, saying: “It’s like it was written by amateurs. It’s so fundamentally flawed”.
The report alleged that Gordhan and Jonas had set up secret meetings to start what it called Operation Check Mate to sabotage Zuma. This led to Zuma calling on Gordhan to cancel the international investment roadshows to the UK and US and immediately return to the country this week.
Jonas, who suggested that political decay in the country was worsening, said: “How can an economy be killed by two individuals?”
They said they would remain ordinary ANC MPs and “we will do whatever we are asked to do by our organisation.”
"Thank you very much for being here, and for demonstrating this solidarity. We have had a meeting with the staff of the Treasury and we said thank you to them as well. We shared some thoughts with them," said Gordhan.
— Jonisayi W. Maromo (@Jonisayi) March 31, 2017
"As far as our positions are concerned personally, we saw on TV last night that we lose our titles as of I'm not sure when but sometime now. That is in the hands of those who make such decisions. But it's been a great privilege to serve South Africa in different capacities over a long period of time."
African News Agency and Political Bureau