I will not respond to Manuel's letter, says Zulu

Cape Town – Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu will not respond to former finance minister Trevor Manuel’s letter to her.

"I am not responding to this matter any more. I believe I have already clarified my views," she said. 

In his letter, published in City Press, Manuel took issue with her claim that business had rallied against President Jacob Zuma’s appointment of David van Rooyen as finance minister. There was no monolithic view that could be ascribed to an entity called business, he wrote.

On Friday, the Mail & Guardian reported that Zulu believed business was involved in a plot against Zuma and that it had written Zuma off.

"The global economic conditions have been manipulated to drive a political agenda and markets fell to this folly. Unfortunately the markets have allowed themselves to be used and effectively taken political sides," she was quoted as saying.

She said she was quoted out of context and that there was no plot to bring down the president.

While business did not have an obligation to support Van Rooyen’s appointment, it would have been good for it to understand Zuma and his decisions, she told Eyewitness News on Monday.

Manuel called her statements reckless. He said Nene’s axing had led to a breakdown of trust.

"The trust is not broken only with Cabinet, of course. It is also broken with the ANC, with the broader South African electorate, with the markets and with that entity you call 'business'," he wrote.

Zulu told Eyewitness News that while she respected Manuel’s opinion, she did not agree with him. Trust could not be broken by one event, she said. 

She said it was the president’s constitutional prerogative to change ministers. There should not be a gap between a decision and its impact, and ways needed to be found to ensure this did not happen again. 

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