BREAKING: Zuma to justify Gordhan axing with intelligence report - sources

29 March 2017 - 20:32
By Qaanitah Hunter
SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan greets President Jacob Zuma after his mini-Budget speech in the National Assembly yesterday.
Image: ESA ALEXANDRA SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan greets President Jacob Zuma after his mini-Budget speech in the National Assembly yesterday.

President Jacob Zuma believes his finance minister Pravin Gordhan went to London to meet with individuals wanting to overthrow the state‚ sources say.

This is why he unilaterally called Gordhan from London and stopped deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas from going to the United States to meet with investors.

TimesLIVE has reliably learnt that Zuma acted on an intelligence report that claimed Gordhan and his deputy were to use the investor roadshow to mobilise prominent people in London and the US to act against the state.

  • Zuma considers stepping down early in deal to oust GordhanPresident Jacob Zuma is considering offering to step down next year, at least 12 months before his term as president ends, under a deal with opponents in his ruling party that would see Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan leave office now, two senior party sources said. 

Sources say Zuma told this to the top six ANC leadership on Monday evening after he had already instructed Gordhan to return and the mission of government officials‚ businessmen and labour representatives to abort the week-long activities.

Gordhan travelled with business leaders and trade unionists in an attempt to reassure investors and rating agencies about South Africa’s commitment to growing the economy and fiscal policy.

  • Zuma faces' mass Cabinet walkout' if he fires Pravin GordhanPresident Jacob Zuma faces a rebellion within his own party if he fires Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, with about 12 ministers considering resigning their positions and then fighting for the president’s removal, according to four people familiar with the situation. 

TimesLIVE understands that Zuma told the ANC leaders that Gordhan had to be removed as a result of him meeting with groups hell-bent on overthrowing the government.

This is not the first time Zuma used a purported intelligence report in defending his actions. Sources say the intelligence report‚ whose origin could not be verified‚ states that Gordhan would have told bankers in London to stand with Treasury in their fights against the presidency and the powerful Gupta family‚ who are close associates of the president.

  • BREAKING: EFF goes to ConCourt in bid to start impeachment proceedings against ZumaEconomic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema is going to the Constitutional Court in a bid to force the speaker of Parliament to institute impeachment or disciplinary proceedings against President Jacob Zuma. 

State security spokesperson Brian Dube said he had no knowledge of any intelligence report on Gordhan.

There has been some pushback by ANC leaders against Zuma’s moves to fire Gordhan‚ but sources say he has insisted that he has the prerogative to fire a minister.

Zuma suggested that the relationship between Gordhan and him was irreparable and the president could not trust him.

  • Gordhan’s predicament - was a fake intelligence report to blame?The Inspector General for Intelligence will be asked to investigate whether a “fake intelligence report” was behind the instruction for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to cancel his investor roadshow. 

Gordhan attended the funeral of struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada and when asked about his possible removal‚ he said: "If one is told services are not required any longer‚ that is the end of one chapter and the opening of a new chapter. We go on asking the question‚ how can I continue contributing to a better South Africa?"