Gordhan: Zuma’s reasons for firing me 'absolute nonsense'

Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas were among five ministers and two deputies who were fired by President Jacob Zuma in a Cabinet reshuffle.

FILE: Pravin Gordhan. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says President Jacob Zuma's decision to axe him and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas based on a so-called intelligence report are "absolute nonsense".

Gordhan and Jonas held a briefing in Pretoria, following Zuma's early Cabinet reshuffle.

WATCH: Pravin Gordhan comments on his axing

They were among seven ministers and deputies fired by the president.

Gordhan says the report is complete "nonsense".

“But this is a so-called intelligence report, which said, among others, that the two of us and director general Fuzile Lungisa are involved in a massive conspiracy to undermine this country. If you read it, it’s absolute nonsense. This is not the basis on which you fire.”

In a late-night move on Thursday, President Jacob Zuma released a statement saying that he had decided to make changes to the National Executive in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Gordhan was asked how he would vote in a motion of no confidence in the president.

“I’ll be guided by my conscience if and when that happens. Hopefully do the right thing, whatever that may be.”

Gordhan says no-one can undo the good work he and his deputy have done at the Treasury.

“With the work that was done with ratings agencies, I don’t think so. I don’t think any South African would want the good record we have established with the business and labour sector and the kind of confidence we have tried to generate in the last 18 months, to be undone.”


Gordhan has also commented on ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe’s remarks who said he was uncomfortable with the reshuffle.

Mantashe said it appears the list of ministers was drafted elsewhere and given to the ANC’s top 6 to legitimise.

Gordon says it appears that Mantashe, as a member of the top 6, doesn't feel empowered enough or have the ability to influence key sets of decisions.

He says if indeed such decisions are being made elsewhere, which determines the future of institutions and impact on future of the country, we should all be very afraid.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)