While many South Africans woke to the news of a late night cabinet reshuffle, it appears one of the key figures involved may also have learned of his axing via informal channels. Not from the man who hired him!
But true to form, Pravin Gordhan retained his characteristic poise throughout an interview wioth Bruce Whitfield earlier.
I’m fine. It’s been a difficult year and a half.— Pravin Gordhan
It would have been nice to receive a phonecall… like our colleagues Hanekom, Ramatlodi to tell us our services aren’t required any longer, anyway. To get to hear on TV you don't have to call me Minister any more.— Pravin Gordhan
Asked by Whitfield what may have tarnished President Zuma's view of him after his reappointment a year and a half ago, Gordhan put forward two alternatives...
One can speculate that there’s all these rumours about an intelligence report, which was offered as the reason for dispensing with my contribution. If that’s the basis, then as the Deputy President and the Secretary General have said, it’s a very frivilous basis.— Pravin Gordhan
Who else has an interest in making sure that the Treasury doesn’t stand firm by the Constitution the PSMA, and its obligations to all South Africans?— Pravin Gordhan
Speculation is rife that the cabinet reshuffle was a ploy by President Zuma to rid the Treasury of those standing in opposition to specific interests. But Gordhan made no judgement on the incumbents to the Treasury posts:
Their record must speak for themselves. They need to appear on your show and pass your rigorous tests Bruce.— Pravin Gordhan
Gordhan was recalled from an investor roadshow earlier this week sparking debate that a cabinet reshuffle was imminent. The Rand lost ground against the dollar, almost 3% this week, but it is a ratings downgrade that could hit our economy hardest. Asked about the threat of a downgrade, Gordhan pointed out that one of the agencies would be making an announcement as soon as next week.
We had very good conversations in London with Moodys and Fitch and S&P, I think our numbers; although modest; are fine. There were very direct questions about the political stability and continuity of politics. And if they feel the recent events jeopardise that they’ll take a dim view of us.— Pravin Gordhan
Listen to the full interview with Pravin Gordhan here: