Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma axed nine ministers and six deputy ministers late on Thursday night, after an impromptu meeting of the African National Congress (ANC) top six, according to reports.
ANN7 television station, owned by the wealthy controversial Gupta family whom Zuma has a close relationship with, reported that the President was meeting with affected ministers at the presidential house in Pretoria after 10pm.
Zuma met with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete, deputy secretary general Jesse Duarte and treasurer-general and Zweli Mkhize, at Mahlambandlopfu, earlier on Thursday night.
Zuma was expected to address a press conference at 11pm.
Earlier on Thursday, the SA Communist Party (SACP) confirmed that Zuma had told the party he planned to replace Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas, based on an adverse intelligence report.
SACP deputy secretary Solly Mapaila said his party decided to divulge confidential discussions held with Zuma and other top leaders because of “selective and factional leaking of discussions” to the media.
“The SACP wishes to state that the president informed us of his intention to effect Cabinet reshuffle to replace both minister and deputy minister of finance. We objected to the reshuffle,” Mapaila told reporters in Johannesburg.
“The President cannot use outside intelligence information for any action he wishes to exercise ... we have state organs that occupy themselves with irrelevant things. Where were these security state organs when 20 schools burned down in Vuyani? It is these rogue elements we want to remove.”
On Monday Zuma recalled Gordhan and his team from an investor roadshow trip overseas.