Former Chief Executive Officer of Eskom Brian Molefe. File Image: IOL
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma had proposed replacing former finance minister Pravin Gordhan with Brian Molefe, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte revealed.

Duarte said this during an interview with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Tuesday night, adding that the idea was, however, shot down by fellow top six members.

In the interview, Duarte said that Zuma brought up the former Eskom chief executive's name during a discussion with other top brass.

"We said no, we don't think that is going to be a useful change. Of course, there were very strong words used.

"He did say well, here's a young man who's put Eskom straight, why can't he assist us elsewhere."

Duarte then said that the other members of the top six pushed back against the idea, adding that they don't always agree with everything the president says.

She also spoke out against fellow members publicly voicing their disagreement to Zuma's decision, adding that it was wrong to do so.

This seemingly in reference to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and treasurer general Zweli Mkhize's public criticism of Zuma's failure to consult officials on the cabinet reshuffle.

"It was wrong for us to come out publicly in whichever way we did. and we apologised to the National Working Committee, who demanded an apology," she said.

Gordhan, along with his deputy Mcebisi Jonas, was fired this year by President Zuma in one of his many Cabinet reshuffles.

Speculation then intensified that Molefe would succeed Gordhan after the former was sworn in as an ANC MP following his exit from Eskom.

Molefe then resigned as MP a few months later, returning to his old job at Eskom after a disagreement over his pension payout.