Zuma doesn't care about consequences of his decisions - analyst
President Jacob Zuma has still not clarified his decision to summon Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan from an international investor roadshow in London.
JOHANNESBURG – The future of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan remains uncertain even after assurances on Tuesday that he was still the country’s Finance Minister.
Gordan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, were forced to cut their investor roadshow short this week in London after President Jacob Zuma summoned them back to South Africa.
Zuma has still not clarified his decision.
On Tuesday, Gordhan told the media in Pretoria that he is still the minister amid speculation that he might be replaced soon.
Political analyst Prince Mashele says it appears Zuma doesn’t care about the consequences of his decisions.
“This man only cares about himself and he’s trying to secure a future for himself. Remember that he still has more than 700 criminal charges hanging over his head.
“So this is a man who’s cornered, who does not care about the ANC, who also doesn’t care about the country.”
COSATU BACKS GORDHAN
As speculation and uncertainty on Gordhan's possible axing continues, the African National Congress (ANC)’s alliance partner Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has expressed its support behind him, calling him a brave man with a nerve of steel.
On Tuesday, Gordhan met with ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe shortly after arriving from London.
Cosatu’s General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali says this is what they think of Gordhan.
“He’s a brave man who believes in his own principles. He’s a man with a nerve of steel.”
He says if the reshuffle does happen and Gordhan is axed, it would be interesting to know the reasons for his ousting.
“We’ll be looking forward to people who might be taken out of their ministerial positions on the basis of poor performance, we’ve not seen that.
“So it will be interesting to see what could be the reason for these ministers if they’re taken out of their positions.”
Cosatu has previously come out in defence of the minister amid calls for him to be fired by some structures of the ANC.
LEGAL BATTLE WITH GUPTAS
Gordhan’s legal team has questioned why the Gupta-owned companies have not withdrawn their opposition to his court application if they genuinely agree, as they’ve claimed, with the position he’s taken with respect to the banks.
Gordhan has approached the High Court in Pretoria to have it rule that he’s not authorised to interfere in the Guptas’ fight with the banks.
Between December 2015 and April last year, the big four banks closed the accounts of the Gupta-owned companies, which prompted the family’s request that the minister intervene.
Counsel for the Oakbay group of companies told the court they don’t dispute that Gordhan is not authorised to intervene in the matter with the banks.
Gordhan’s Advocate Jeremy Gauntlett asked why the companies simply don’t withdraw their opposition, but there has been no explanation.
“It’s like something which is out of Alice in Wonderland, to be in a situation where it’s not like they’re saying. It’s a contested aspect, the jury is out or the judges are out.”
The banks are scheduled to make their submissions when the matter resumes on Wednesday morning.
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)