As speculation abounds about the possible dismissal of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, a media blackout has been cast over the issue.
Government is revealing nothing, even as the rand plummeted on Monday on news about Gordhan’s recall from an international investors’ conference.
The South African Communist Party (SACP) said on Tuesday it was worried about organisational and political decay under President Jacob Zuma’s leadership.
The SACP could neither confirm nor deny rumours that it was told on Tuesday by Zuma that he intends to fire Gordhan.
SACP second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila told The Citizen that even if the party was consulted internally about the future of Gordhan, it would not comment publicly, at least until an official announcement has been made.
“However, we also want to make it clear, as the SACP, that we remain in support of the finance minister, because he has proven to be a reliable and competent minister who has defended the public purse,” said Mapaila.
“If a decision was to be officially made regarding his future, we would give a comprehensive comment to that effect.
“Our bottom line is we have great confidence in him and his strategic leadership is noted, but we cannot confirm nor deny anything at this moment regarding his future.”
Mapaila stressed that the SACP was extremely concerned about Gordhan and his team being ordered back to the country from a business trip this week.
Such decisions could have a huge impact on the livelihood of the poor.
He confirmed the SACP met the ANC leadership at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on Tuesday, where they continued their discussions on issues ranging from governance to the social grants debacle, as well as Brian Molefe.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe on Tuesday confirmed he was preparing to hold a discussion with Gordhan, but would not elaborate.
Tuesday morning, Gordhan and National Treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile arrived at Luthuli House, straight from the airport after returning from an investors’ conference in London.
The duo were recalled by Zuma for unexplained reasons.
The directive sparked speculation that the president was ready to fire Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, through a Cabinet reshuffle.
The recall caused market jitters and the rand fell against the US dollar.
Political analyst Elvis Masoga said what the country was currently witnessing was an extremely fierce battle between the forces of good and evil within the ruling ANC.
“Zuma could have communicated to Luthuli House his disastrous intentions, of which Gwede Mantashe did not approve, and maybe that’s the reason why Gordhan was summoned to the ANC’s headquarters,” he said.
“I don’t think he was called by Zuma, I think Mantashe called him just to keep him abreast about Zuma’s intentions.
“The question around who will emerge victorious in the contest between the two rival forces in the ANC will be determined by membership from both sides, in terms of who has the most support.”
Meanwhile, Gordhan on Tuesday told reporters at the high court in Pretoria, where his battle against the Gupta family continues, he was still a minister.
Gordhan and Jonas arrived at court late in the afternoon.