Rand in freefall as Zuma axes Gordhan, Jonas

12:21 - It's official. Zuma says he has decided to make changes to the National Executive "in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness".

12:04 - From TreasuryOne: Malusi Gigaba, SA's fourth finance minister in two years, will have a few days before the next ratings agency decision (Moody's) is due. Rand at R13.38/$ currently.

11:44 - Rand is in freefall, just went over R13.41/$

11:23 - Confirmation that Sfiso Buthelezi is replacing Deputy Finance MInister Mcebisi Jonas. Political analyst Daniel Silke: "Zuma unleashes his endgame to protect himself, benefit special interests & steer the ANC towards his preferred successor."

11:22 - Rand slams on the breaks at R13.37 before pulling back to R13.29. Was trading at R12.31 before the Zuma/Gordhan saga restarted.

UPDATE 11:15 -  The rand has weakened sharply since Zuma started his Cabinet reshuffle to close at R13.28 in New York. By 11:15, in after hours trading the rand lost a further 0.45% to currently trade at R13.34 against the greenback on the news that Pravin Gordhan has been replaced by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.

Cape Town - The rand fell to R13.29 to the US dollar on Thursday evening on reports that President Jacob Zuma has started to reshuffle his Cabinet.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy look set to get the boot, with unconfirmed reports that Sfiso Buthelezi and Brian Molefe will replace them after Zuma summoned the rest of the ANC's top six earlier in the evening to an urgent meeting.

Cyril Ramaphosa‚ Baleka Mbete‚ Gwede Mantashe‚ Jessie Duarte and Zweli Mkhize, were called to a meeting at short notice to the presidential home, Mahlambandlopfu, at 18:30.

Some ministers were informed to be on standby.

News24 has learnt that nine ministers and six deputy ministers will be affected by the reshuffle.

Political analyst Daniel Silke told Fin24 the extent of this cabinet reshuffle - if it involved as many as 15 individuals - is more akin to putting down an internal revolt than a cabinet reshuffle in the classic sense of the world.

"Zuma looks set to stake his future - and the cohesiveness of the broader Alliance - on what could be the most far-reaching cabinet reshuffle in recent history," he said in an emailed note.

More to follow...

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