Picture: @SAFTU_media/Twitter
Johannesburg – The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) on Friday accused President Jacob Zuma of having plunged the country into a crisis after a sweeping Cabinet reshuffle in which he fired the finance minister and his deputy.

The new federation urged South Africans to take to the streets in protest.

"The Saftu is outraged at the cabinet reshuffle by President Zuma, and appeals to all South Africans to flood the streets of Pretoria and symbolically occupy the Treasury in the strongest possible protest," said Saftu.

"The announcement confirms our worst fears that the country has now been plunged into its biggest crisis since 1994. We now have a government with no credibility, one which has surrendered power to powerful crony capitalist factions and delivered a slap in the face of millions of South Africans."

The federation has called on the public to gather at Pretoria's Church Square on Friday 10am. Zuma executed the long-anticipated Cabinet reshuffle late on Thursday night.

He fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas and replaced them with Malusi Gigaba and Sfiso Buthelezi respectively. The rand tanked overnight as speculations over the change in the country’s executive raged on.

Zuma announced 10 changes to the Cabinet and 10 more at deputy minister level.

Apart from Gordhan, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, who last year mooted a vote of no confidence in Zuma at the ANC NEC, was also axed from Cabinet.

Hanekom said he only found out he had been sacked from media reports and that no reason had been advanced. Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramathlodi, were also fired.