Keabetswe Shilakwe | 31 March 2017
As of late last night, President Jacob Zuma confirmed South Africa’s eleventh cabinet reshuffle. There have been mixed reactions from the public and the world at large as the rand continues to plummet after the announcement.
Amid rumours, the possibility of another cabinet reshuffle was not taken to heart, resulting in the shock and horror that overtook South Africans at midnight. The Managing Director of The Banking Association South Africa (BASA), Cas Coovadia, said the turn of events are worrying as there was no viable or rational reason that led to the removal of Pravin Gordhan as the Minister of Finance and replacing him with Malusi Gigaba, former Minister of Home Affairs.
Coovadia said reasons why the Minister of Finance and other capable ministers were fired, must be put under question. He also said South Africa’s slow, growing economy would take a severe hit due to the decisions made by the president and the poor would suffer the most backlashes with the new turn of events.
“ … [It] is critical for confidence in the country, economic growth in the country, for the confidence that investors have in our country and rating agencies that are in our country.”
South Africa’s Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, was quoted by ENCA saying it was “unacceptable” that Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas had been fired.
“It was preposterous. Simply, my strong objection to the removal of the Minister of Finance and his deputy is being based on spurious allegations…” – Ramaphosa
Other members of opposing political parties like the Democratic Alliance (DA), have called the nation to take action and work together towards having President Zuma removed from office by taking part in a vote of no confidence.
“It is Parliament who hired Jacob Zuma and it is Parliament that can fire him. We therefore urge all political parties, including members of the ANC, to vote President Jacob Zuma out when the DA’s motion of no confidence is debated in the National Assembly,” DA leader, Mmusi Maimane
Speculations have surrounded the president’s decision to fire the Minister of Finance. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) alleged that Zuma fired Gordhan to make way for the Gupta family to gain access to the Treasury. The party also said the reason why Gigaba was chosen as Minister of Finance is because he is a stooge for the Guptas.
Ordinary South Africans have taken to twitter to voice their frustrations and anger at the president using the hashtag #cabinetreshuffle as well as the revived #ZumaMustFall hashtag. A march was organised and headed by the Save South Africa movement to the Treasury this morning, to protest President Zuma’s latest actions.