South Africa leaders divided after President Zuma sacks Gordhan
South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the sacking of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan as “totally unacceptable”.
His late night dismissal on Thursday led to a 5% plunge in the value of the currency, the rand.
Mr Gordhan was seen as a bulwark against corruption in an administration that is facing growing criticism. He was one of several victims as President Jacob Zuma conducted a major overhaul of his cabinet.
Mr Zuma said the midnight reshuffle was about a “radical socio-economic transformation”.
Mr Ramaphosa told state broadcaster SABC that he would not resign in response to the sacking but continue to ” serve the people”.
In a spirited farewell press conference at the treasury’s office in Pretoria, Mr Gordhan defended his economic record, and dismissed speculation by that he had recently held meetings in London aimed at undermining Mr Zuma.
Malusi Gigaba, previously the Minister of Home Affairs, has replaced Mr Gordhan.
Sfiso Buthelezi will become Deputy Finance Minister, replacing Mcebisi Jonas. President Zuma also made a number of other changes in the cabinet.
“I have directed the new ministers and deputy ministers to work tirelessly with their colleagues… to ensure that the promise of a better life for the poor and the working class becomes a reality,” President Zuma’s statement said.