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ANC insisted Zuma boot out van Rooyen - report

The ANC told Zuma to either reinstate Nhlanhla Nene or appoint Pravin Gordhan as finance minister.

Fomer South African Finance Minister David Douglas Des van Rooyen. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - It has emerged top ANC leaders gave President Jacob Zuma a stark choice just hours before he reversed his decision to appoint David van Rooyen as finance minister.

The Sunday Times is reporting that senior officials within the party warned Zuma of a Brazil styled meltdown if he maintained the appointment of the little known member of parliament (MP).

In a series of interactions last weekend among business leaders, bankers and ruling party bosses, the ANC was reportedly told of the devastating effects that Zuma's controversial axing of Nhlanhla Nene would have on the economy.

The paper reports the ANC gave Zuma two options, either reinstate Nene or appoint Pravin Gordhan to the crucial post.

Top ranks of the ANC including Jeff Radebe, Zweli Mkhize and Jessie Duarte were reportedly told by business leaders that should Zuma not reverse his decision, it would further send the Rand into freefall, leading to a multiyear recession and economic decline.

ANC leaders were also told of the impact of interest rates with the expectation that there would be an increase of between one and 1.5 percent over 2016.

The Sunday Times says even the president's allies at the South African Communist Party (SACP) and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) turned on him.

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