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'Cancelling Gordhan trip had nothing to do with #ANCNEC'

Politics
Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma's decision to recall Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas from an investors' roadshow overseas had to do with government, and not the African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee, party secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday.

"Calling the minister back was not an ANC matter, that is a government matter... we do not know how it was done, who gave permission or did not give permission, we are not aware," Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg following the governing party's NEC meeting over the weekend.

Zuma ordered Gordhan and Jonas home on Monday, as they embarked on a scheduled programme to meet business leaders and rating agencies in Britain.

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ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe briefing media in Johannesburg on Monday. Picture: Getrude Makhafola/ANA

The statement from the Presidency did not give reasons for the recall. Bloomberg reported on Monday, that the minister told the international news agency he intended to conclude his engagement with foreign investors in London.

He had been due to return to South Africa on Monday night. Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) Dennis George, who is part of the Gordhan delegation, told a radio station that Gordhan made assurances that the trip would continue as scheduled.

Jonas was supposed to embark on the investor roadshow to the United States of America (USA) on Monday night. The move by Zuma has resuscitated a long standing view that a Cabinet reshuffle was imminent.

Tensions between Gordhan's Treasury portfolio and supporters of Zuma who wanted him removed and replaced grew in recent times, exacerbated by the court case brought by Gordhan against the controversial Gupta family.

Gordhan wants the high court to affirm and issue a declaratory order prohibiting him from interfering in disputes between banks and their clients. The Guptas have close ties to Zuma. The case would be argued on Tuesday.

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