Zuma might have other plans for MP Molefe - analysts

2017-02-27 11:49
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and President Jacob Zuma (File, Herman Verwey, Netwerk24)

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and President Jacob Zuma (File, Herman Verwey, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma perhaps has other plans for ex-Eskom CEO Brian Molefe, who some think might replace Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan or his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, during a Cabinet reshuffle, some political experts say.

What most of them agree on, though, is that a Cabinet reshuffle is on the cards, Netwerk24 reported.

Molefe was sworn in as MP last Thursday, despite objections from the opposition.

Dr Piet Croucamp said Gordhan’s job was probably safe – for now.

"The risk is too big at the moment for President Jacob Zuma to replace Gordhan."

It was more likely that he would be appointed energy minister.

Zuma’s biggest headache

There was renewed speculation in City Press on Sunday about a possible Cabinet reshuffle and that, should Molefe replace Gordhan, several ministers might quit.

Croucamp said nuclear plans and the National Prosecuting Authority were Zuma’s biggest headache at the moment.

"There seem to be very few options for him other than to pull a rabbit out of a hat with the Russians," Croucamp said.

On Friday, the Western Cape High Court reserved judgment in an application by environmental organisations, for an order that the South African-Russian nuclear agreement should first have been tabled in Parliament for approval, because of the huge financial implications, GroundUp reported.

Croucamp said the nuclear deal was more important to Zuma than people realised.

There would be dire consequences for Zuma should he touch Gordhan. However, Zuma was unpredictable, "desperate and capable of anything", he said.

Embarrassment to ANC

Independent political analyst Ralph Mathekga said the nuclear plans made the Treasury even more important.

"It might be a big risk to make a move against Gordhan, but the markets might not react too negatively."

There were bigger issues at play than just Molefe the MP.

"The time is riper now than before for a Cabinet reshuffle. The credibility of banks has taken a knock after allegations of collusion and apartheid money claims against Absa softened the public mood.

"It will be easier now to reject concerns about a crisis in the markets should there be a Cabinet reshuffle such as this."

Mathekga said the two centres of power created by the infighting between Gordhan and Zuma were not sustainable.

"The Treasury is currently the other centre of power and there are some senior ANC leaders who are more moderate, who can see the attacks on Gordhan as an embarrassment to the party."

Read more on:    anc  |  cabinet  |  jacob zuma  |  brian molefe  |  pravin gordhan  |  cape town  |  politics

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