Treasury confirms: Gordhan flying back to SA tonight

Cape Town – Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will comply with President Jacob Zuma’s order and return to South Africa on Monday evening.

That is according to Treasury spokesperson Yolisa Tyantsi, who told Fin24 on Monday that arrangements were being made to fly him back to South Africa later on Monday evening.

Gordhan told Bloomberg on Monday that his London visit would go ahead.

The minister and the rest of the group started meeting investors in the UK on Monday, according to Jabu Mabuza, president of Business Unity South Africa and chairperson of Telkom and part of the delegation, who spoke to Bloomberg by phone from London.

The Presidency said in a statement earlier that Zuma “has instructed … Gordhan and Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas to cancel the international investment promotion roadshow to the United Kingdom and the United States and return to South Africa immediately”.

Gordhan told Reuters on the sidelines of the UK investor roadshow he had not been recalled to South Africa by his President, but "asked to come back home" and had been planning to do so anyway.

LIVE: Move by Zuma against Gordhan is a 'major setback' for SA economy

Gordhan said he had not planned to be part of the US leg of the investor roadshow anyway, according to Reuters.

On whether he expected a Cabinet reshuffle, he said: "That's the boss' perogative."

Treasury said on Saturday that Gordhan, Jonas, director general Lungisa Fuzile, key National Treasury officials, business and labour will embark on a non-deal international investor roadshow.

“The delegation will spend two days in London (March 27 - 28), one day in Boston (March 29) and two days in New York (March 30-31).

“This follows extensive engagements by senior National Treasury officials with domestic investors following the tabling of the 2017 Budget by the Minister of Finance.

“Treasury has a consistent and long-standing strategy of engaging investors on a regular basis. The purpose of this is to provide an update on the most recent developments, engage constructively with investors and share government's thinking behind its' latest policy proposals.”

There is speculation that Zuma is on the verge of a Cabinet reshuffle, while Gupta-owned Sahara Computers filed papers in the North Gauteng High Court demanding that Gordhan represent himself in the court hearing starting on Tuesday.

That court hearing comes after Gordhan filed for a declaratory order, confirming that Treasury may not intervene between a bank and its private client.

South Africa’s top four banks blacklisted the accounts of the Gupta-owned business entities, including Oakbay Investments and Sahara Computers, regarding allegations of corruption due to their links with Zuma.

By obeying Zuma’s orders to return, Gordhan has ensured he does not have double standards, as he has said that South African Revenue Service Commissioner Tom Moyane refuses to follow his orders.

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