Johannesburg – The ANC has many capable members capable of taking over Pravin Gordhan’s role as finance minister should President Jacob Zuma sack him, the ANC Youth League said on Wednesday.
“The president must really apply his mind and consider whether it would not be in the best interest of the republic to find someone else to be a minister of finance in the meantime,” ANCYL spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize told News24.
This would allow Gordhan to attend to his legal matters and prevent further damage to the economy.
NPA head Shaun Abrahams announced on Tuesday that Gordhan, former Sars commissioner Oupa Magashula, and former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay would be charged with fraud. This related to an early retirement package and contract extension granted to Pillay and which Gordhan signed off on.
The three had been summoned to appear in court on November 2.
Although Abrahams spoke at length about the so-called Sars “rogue unit”, he did not say if Gordhan would be charged in connection with it. Gordhan had been engaged in a dispute with specialised policing unit the Hawks over the investigation unit, which was set up while he was Sars commissioner between 1999 and 2009, and which allegedly illegally spied on taxpayers.
Mkhize said Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and ANC treasurer Zweli Mkhize were capable of being finance minister.
Molefe had done well at both Transnet and Eskom, and Mkhize as KwaZulu-Natal finance MEC.
The Presidency on Tuesday urged the NPA to conduct the matter involving Gordhan with the “necessary dignity and respect”.
It reaffirmed its support for Gordhan and said the NPA´s decision came at a sensitive time for the country.