The news of the possible arrest of the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan saw the rand weakening to below R14 to the dollar on Thursday. The Minister was summoned to appear at the Hawks offices to receive a warning statement, a request which he chose to decline.
Richard Calland, Public Law expert and political analyst, says the country has reached a point of 'mutually hurting stalemate', a phrase used in academic literature relating to conflict.
It is a good way of looking at the cold war between the President of the country and Finance Minister, it is really an extraordinary situation.— Richard Calland, Public Law expert and political analyst
Calland says the war between the President and Finance Minister shows contestation of power which hurts the country, disturbs investors and is very damaging to the economy.
He says at the moment he can't predict how this war will end, but he knows it will have huge implication for what happens next, which will set the course for the next 20 years.
According to Calland, President Zuma needs Pravin Gordhan out of the way, which is why he is using the Hawks to undermine and intimidate him.
Part of this is the hope on President Zuma's side that Pravin Gordhan will just throw in the towel and say i can't take this anymore— Richard Calland, Public Law expert and political analyst
On the other hand I think Pravin Gordhan is very much up to the fight and he's got very important support such as Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Gwede Mantashe.— Richard Calland, Public Law expert and political analyst
Listen to the full conversation below: