Johannesburg – The SA Communist Party (SACP) on Wednesday confirmed that President Jacob Zuma plans to replace Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan 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."
Zuma on Monday recalled Gordhan and his team from an investor road show trip overseas. This, said Mapaila, was not in accordance with "doing what is good for the country". Cancelling an investor trip "on a whim" cannot be good for the country, said Mapaila.
"The country lost between R80 and R90 billion when[former finance minister Nhlanhla] Nene was recalled. Workers' pension funds were heavily affected because they are invested all over the world...people must be held accountable if they take decisions of that nature," said Mapaila.
"Treasury is extremely sensitive and must be handled with care, we must not allow the parasites and vultures to encircle it and loot it completely. That department is not isolated from government, its policies are that of government...it cannot be made a scapegoat when it suits certain individuals."
He said Gordhan was running a clean department in accordance with government policies, and his removal had nothing to do with his performance but with a "shoddy" intelligence report.
"Gordhan has fought for his country, him and Mcebisi would never sell this country...we do not think that they should be harassed and removed from office...they should be supported".
Mapaila added that the SACP wrote to the director general of intelligence and Minister Mahlobo complaining about the tapping of SACP leaders' phones and death threats, but no action has been forthcoming.
So serious were the death threats that the SACP treasurer was almost assassinated and had to withdraw from Parliament as an MP, he said.