‘We are at a crossroads’: ANC turns on Zuma while the DA goes to court

In the wake of the #CabinetReshuffle, everyone seemed to have something to say. Press conferences, protests, and court interdicts abound; The Daily Vox rounds up the aftermath.

Pravin Gordhan

The outgoing finance minister and his deputy minister, Mcebisi Jonas held a press conference at the Treasury office at 11am. Treasury staff greeted Gordhan and Jonas with a rendition of the apartheid struggle song Senzeni Na.

At the briefing, Gordhan addressed the intelligence report that accused the finance minister of secretly meeting with foreign powers in London. “If you read this‚ it is absolute nonsense. This is not the basis you fire a finance minister and his deputy finance minister‚” Gordhan said.

Gordhan indirectly addressed the country’s concern over state capture.

Cyril Ramaphosa

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is unhappy with Jacob Zuma’s decision to remove Pravin Gordhan as finance minister. He called Gordhan’s axing, and the cabinet reshuffle in general, unacceptable. Zuma had not consulted with Ramaphosa and other ANC officials about the reshuffle.

“The president has effected his cabinet reshuffle. Before doing so‚ he met ANC officials. It was just a process of informing us of his decision‚” Ramaphosa said on SABC News. The deputy president said that Zuma based his decision to fire Gordhan on assumptions. “I find it very difficult to believe that someone like Gordhan, who has served the country with everything he has and so much pride and total honour, planned to besmirch Zuma and his government overseas,” Ramaphosa said. Despite his opposition to his senior’s decision, Ramaphosa will not resign.

Gwede Mantashe

Speaking to Xolani Gwala on 702 on Friday morning, the secretary general of the ANC expressed his unhappiness with the cabinet reshuffle, saying that while he was informed of the reshuffles but that he cannot use the word “consulted”.

“We were given a list that was complete … myself I feel this list was developed somewhere else and it was given to us to legitimise it. And my own view is that I’m very uncomfortable because areas where ministers do not perform have not been touched. Ministers have been moved and the majority of them were good performing ministers.”

When pressed by Gwala about where he thought the list had been developed, Mantashe said he didn’t know but he did say that Jacob Zuma is aware that the ANC is unhappy with him.

Jackson Mthembu

In a Facebook post, ANC chief whip, Jackson Mthembu also displayed unhappiness with Zuma’s latest decision saying they are pained by the removal of Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas from the finance ministry on the basis of a very suspicious intelligence report.

“These comrades can never and will never sell their souls and country to foreign forces. I disagree with their removal and reasons expressed for their removal. In my book cde Pravin Gordhan and cde Mcebisi Jonas were good protectors and defenders of our public purse,” he wrote.

Democratic Alliance

In response to the cabinet reshuffle, the DA is lodging an urgent court application in the Western Cape High Court to stop the swearing in of the new ministers and deputy ministers due to take place later on Friday afternoon. Mmusi Maimane called the swearing-ins “treasonous”.

The DA has also called on ANC MPs to support their motion of no confidence, which they plan to argue at an urgent sitting of Parliament. However, that sitting has yet to be called by Speaker Baleka Mbete, as Parliament is currently in recess.

Ngoako Ramatlhodi

However, there is one minister who is diverting from the common view that the reshuffle was a bad idea.

Former Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi told EWN he is relieved that President Jacob Zuma has removed him from his Cabinet.

Ramatlhodi was not informed about the reasons for his axing but he said he doesn’t take offence,

“I’m relieved. I think we’re at a crossroads and I hope to keep in mind the interests of the country.”

Reporting by Fatima Moosa and Nolwandle Zondi

Featured image via GCIS on Flickr