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Tue Sep 27 00:28:30 CAT 2016

Ministers serve at the pleasure of the president – Davies

Genevieve Quintal and Mpho Raborife | 17 March, 2016 21:19
During a press briefing earlier on Thursday, Davies reportedly said he had known Jonas for a number of years and described him as a man of "honesty and integrity". File photo
Image by: ROBERT TSHABALALA

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has downplayed reports that a cabinet reshuffle, in which he would be removed from his post, was imminent.

"Ministers serve at the pleasure of the president and the president is the only person who can hire or fire ministers," his spokesperson, Sidwell Medupe, told News24.

He then asked that News24 direct any further questions to the Presidency.

Earlier, the SA Communist Party (SACP) claimed that another "Gupta-inspired" cabinet reshuffle was imminent and that Davies would allegedly be replaced with a "recently sworn in ANC MP and businessperson".

Motivation for reshuffle

"The motivation for the intended shuffle is connected to the Gupta family interests in acquiring a stake in ArcelorMittal, and their concern that the department of trade and industry, under the leadership of Minister Davies, as part of its commitment to localisation and job creation, is setting tough pricing conditions on the sale of steel into the downstream South African manufacturing sector," the SACP said in a statement.

The SACP, which is part of the tripartite alliance with the ANC and Cosatu, said it would engage with the ANC and the alliance to discuss the problem in general and the growing evidence of the manipulation of political appointments by the Gupta family.

Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas on Wednesday dropped a bombshell when he confirmed that the Guptas had offered him the job of finance minister before Nhlanhla Nene was removed last year. He said he refused the offer.

But the Guptas denied meeting him and accused Jonas of lying and challenged him to provide proof of the meeting.

During a press briefing earlier on Thursday, Davies reportedly said he had known Jonas for a number of years and described him as a man of "honesty and integrity".

Source News 24

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