Outgoing Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan holds a copy of an intelligence report that President Jacob Zuma used as justification to fire him. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
Johannesburg – The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in eThekwini Region has accused outgoing Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan of inciting a revolution, saying that it was extremely concerned at the nature and content of his media briefing.
“Never in a million years did we imagine a day where a seasoned leader like Mr. Gordhan would effectively contradict the ANC in exchange for fame and admiration by reactionaries,” ANC eThekwini regional secretary, Thinta Cibane, said in a statement.
“The media briefing was wrong and should have not been called in the first place. If Mr. Gordhan had something to say to either the President or the leadership of the ANC, he should have sought audience with them and voiced out his unhappiness at a decision taken.”
President Jacob Zuma fired Gordhan and replaced him with Malusi Gigaba, the former minister of home affairs, in a dramatic midnight Cabinet reshuffle.
Gordhan’s deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, was also axed and replaced by Sifiso Buthelezi, Zuma’s former adviser when he was still Economic Development MEC in KwaZulu-Natal between 1994 and 1999.
The dramatic axing of Treasury’s most senior duo has been widely criticised by opposition parties and civic organisations as handing over the keys of the State coffers to Zuma’s circle of friends, the Gupta family and its business empire.
Gordhan addressed the media at the National Treasury offices in Pretoria earlier on Friday where he told journalists that he learnt of his fate through the media, and paid tribute to ordinary South Africans for their support during his tenure at the helm of the country’s finances.
Asked what should the public do in the wake of his axing, Gordhan said: “Masses make history not individuals. Organise your fragmented voices and become one voice for the nation.”
Cibane said the ANCYL had welcomed Gordhan and wished him well at the time of his appointment, but being a Cabinet minister was not a human right, rather a privilege which may be taken away at any time the organisation deemed fit.
“The Youth League worries about a member of the ANC who can effectively make an attempt at mobilising the society to rally against the ANC-led government. This to us is akin to organising an unconstitutional change of government and we ask that his words at this press briefing be considered carefully,” Cibane said.
“To ask South Africans to rise after a decision to release you of your duties is unheard of in the organisation. When President Zuma and later President Mbeki left office, they did not mobilise people to rise against a decision. It is the considered view of the Youth League that Mr. Gordhan has lost all forms of political consciousness and as such the ANC must consider taking disciplinary action against this member who incites a revolt against the leadership of the ANC.”
The rand weakened about four percent to a three-week low on the back of Gordhan’s axing, trading at around R13.57/$, R16.93/£ and R14.51/€ respectively in the morning. The move leaves South Africa on the brink of a much-feared ratings downgrade.
African News Agency