Cape Town – Two people are in the running to take Pravin Gordhan’s place as Minister of Finance in what is likely to be a much-changed Cabinet named by President Jacob Zuma either on Sunday evening or Monday.
Plans to name the new Cabinet members were put on hold on Tuesday, following the death of Struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada.
A reliable source told Independent Media that both Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebesi Jonas are definitely out.
“It’s just a matter now of who takes over from Gordhan,” he said. He said Gordhan has been completely isolated. He has no support in the top 6. Even the SA Communist party, is prepared to see him go.
The source said that Zuma wanted Brian Molefe as the new minister. Some members of the top 6 and the SACP preferred Sifiso Buthelezi.
“The matter has still not been finalised,” he said.
As the wheeling-and-dealing continued over a number of positions, the SACP’s official stance is to continue fighting for Gordhan.
On Tuesday, the party reminded Zuma that he doesn’t run a presidential system and should consult with the ruling alliance thoroughly before making any “reckless” decision to remove Pravin Gordhan as Finance Minister.
It said the respected minister should not be harassed but should be given support to continue with the good work he has been doing at National Treasury.
But Independent’s source said the SACP was, in fact, concentrating its efforts on fighting for the positions of other communist party members in the party. “The president want to axe both Rob Davies and Ebrahim Patel. The SACP is determined that at least one of the two – preferably Patel – be retained.
Also expected to be axed is Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, while a number of other ministers are likely to be moved to other portfolios. These include Jeff Radebe, Faith Muthambi and Nathi
Former National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele is being tipped to take Nhleko’s place as Police Minister.