The two rival factions inside South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) on Friday attacked each other publicly after South African President Jacob Zuma abruptly fired minister of finance Pravin Gordhan, who was considered a bulwark against government corruption.
Zuma, who has been embroiled in a series of scandals since taking office in 2009, dismissed Grovan as part of a late-night Cabinet reshuffle in which 10 of 35 ministers were fired.
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa called the decision “unacceptable.”
ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe said the reshuffle was not done with the party’s approval.
“Ministers have been moved, and the majority of them were good performing ministers,” Mantashe said.
Senior ANC lawmaker Jackson Mthembu said Gordhan’s only crime was “incorruptibility.”
“It’s unprecedented to have senior ANC members come out with dissenting views in public like this,” said William Gumede, a political scientist at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and executive chairman of the Democracy Works Foundation, a good-government group.
“Now that the conflict has gone public, people and party members can see the divisions clearly,” Gumede said. “It will be very difficult for Zuma to shrug this off and claim that everything is fine.”
The firing was a result of a long-running battle between Zuma and Gordhan, and the interests they represent.
Zuma’s supporters have accused Gordhan of representing South Africa’s white-led business community and have urged Zuma to fire the minister and replace him with someone with a looser grip on state coffers, so as to carry out “radical transformation.”
Gordhan’s backers belong to the urban faction of the ANC, one less beholden to the politics of patronage that the party practices in rural strongholds.
The minister’s dismissal sent the rand plummeting as much as 5 percent at one point.
The cost of borrowing for the government jumped, amid fears that rating agencies would downgrade South Africa’s government bonds to “junk” status.
Africa’s most industrialized economy, South Africa is projected to grow 0.8 percent this year amid a jobless rate of 27 percent.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong (FCC) yesterday said that reporters in the territory were experiencing “highly unusual” visas problems, and called on the US and China to stop using the media as a political weapon. Journalists have been caught up in US-China tensions, with both sides placing limits or expelling reporters from their territories in the past few months. Now the spat is filtering into Hong Kong, a regional press hub nominally in charge of its own immigration policies. The FCC said in a statement that multiple media firms had reported delays getting visas in recent months. “The delays have affected journalists