ANC praises Zuma for 'bold leadership'

The ANC's Jessie Duarte says Jacob Zuma showed the nation he is 'willing to listen'.

President Jacob Zuma. cture: Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) has praised President Jacob Zuma for displaying what it is calling "bold leadership" after firing his finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.

The ruling party earlier gave a media briefing at Luthuli House in Johannesburg.

The ANC's Jessie Duarte says Zuma showed the nation he is "willing to listen".

"The president's willingness to change an earlier deployment in the face of our sluggish economic climate and representations from role players demonstrated bold leadership, bringing certainty and assurance in the finance portfolio."

The president's decision to replace Nene with a back-bencher MP led to a collapse of the markets, which only stabilised after Pravin Gordhan was deployed to take over the crucial portfolio.

Duarte says there will be no major changes to financial policies.

"Such open, frank and productive engagement has been characteristic of the ANC and the government under the leadership of comrade Zuma. The policy of the ANC is one of ensuring sound fiscal management and we will adhere to our position of good governance being non-negotiable."

The ANC admits that it did not anticipate the magnitude of the impact firing Nene and replacing him with van Rooyen would have on the economy.

The ruling party has also confirmed that the national working committee did not discuss recalling the president and rubbished rumours of dissatisfaction from the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The party supported Zuma in the briefing, saying he provided solid answers to the meeting about how and why he decided to remove Nene.

Duarte says it was the president himself who recommended replacing van Rooyen with Gordhan when they met at 4pm on Sunday afternoon.

The ANC maintains it was consulted on all the decisions that were made.