Decision to recall Gordhan from roadshow an embarrassment for SA - Cosatu

2017-03-28 17:51
Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan at the North Gauteng High Court. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan at the North Gauteng High Court. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Trade union federation Cosatu has described President Jacob Zuma's decision to recall Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan from an investment roadshow in the UK and US as unprecedented and embarrassing for South Africa.

Zuma rescinded the earlier permission he had granted Treasury for the trip, summoning Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas back home immediately on Monday. No reason was given for the decision.

Speculation has been rife since the news broke on Monday that it was linked to a possible Cabinet reshuffle.

"We were shocked to learn in the news that president had decided to rescind the decision for the ministers to go," Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told journalists.

He was speaking outside the ANC's headquarters at Luthuli House.

Gordhan, who returned to South Africa on Tuesday morning, was spotted on the 6th floor of the building. It is understood he was meeting with ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

Gordhan left the building to attend court proceedings over his application to obtain a declaratory order from the courts preventing Treasury from intervening in the matter of Oakbay Investments versus four of the country's big banks.

This after they decided to stop doing business with the Gupta family.

"This has never happened in this way and it raises eyebrows in the way it is done," said Ntshalintshali.

He added that they were a little shocked and still waiting for the reasons.

He said the federation was aware of growing rumours of a Cabinet reshuffle, but believed the president would brief the alliance partners before undertaking such a decision.

"We think we will be consulted, if it does happen. We will be consulted if it goes that way," he said.

'He's a brave man'

Ntshalintshali said Cosatu was likely to discuss the Gordhan issue next week when it sits down for its special central executive committee.

Gordhan has denied claims that he has resigned.  

ANN7 reported that Zuma had briefed the ANC top 6 on plans to fire Gordhan.  

Ntshalintshali said he also wouldn't expect Gordhan to step down, as he had never considered that option in the past.

"He's a brave man, stands by his principles. He has been embarrassed on a number of occasions and refused to resign," said Ntshalintshali.

He said Gordhan had nerves of steel and could withstand the current storm, but he said the president's action was embarrassing for the country.

"People are asking what is it that is so urgent. If it's a recall, why couldn't it wait just a few days? Gordhan is not doing personal work," said Ntshalintshali.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  pravin  |  gordhan  |  politics

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