ICYMI – former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan describes below why he believes he was fired (or released from his duties). He also revealed that he and his former Deputy Mcebisi Jonas learnt their fate from the TV screen – there was no phone call or meeting.
Watch Pravin Gorhdan: ‘This is why I was fired’
Yesterday Ahmed Kathrada’s widow Barbara Hogan begged South Africans to mobilise against the “dastardly deed” that have taken place.
At a press conference, she said the spirt that engulfed South Africa during the week of her husband’s death and funeral had been calming and inspiring.
“We welcomed a commemoration service hosted by the Presidency because that is what is befitting of a giant of our country. But let me say that last night, when the news began to filter through, about the dastardly deeds that were being done in dark corners, many of us in the family began to have second doubts whether we would want a commemoration under the auspices of a president who has clearly gone rogue. Who has clearly defied his own party. You have a deputy president saying, clearly and forthrightly today, that the removal of the finance minister and his deputy was based on a dubious intelligence report. You have the secretary-general of the ANC saying loudly and clearly: the list of ministers who are to be replaced did not come from the ANC, it came from another side.
“What does that mean to us? It means that the president is not applying his mind in making a decision about one of the most critical issues in our country, and that is a decision about a team of people who are going to lead our country. Surely that is an indictment on the president, when his own party is rejecting him. His own party rejects what he has done. If this is not a defining moment in our country, nothing will ever be a defining moment.
“Looking to citizens of our country, I think all of us are utterly dismayed. We live in this country, we love this country and we have hopes. The majority of people live desperate lives of poverty and marginalisation. That a president can think to withdraw a finance minister and his deputy from an incredibly important international roadshow, to think that he thinks he could just do that and there is no consequences for the poor, shows what an inept president we have.
“For the ordinary citizens of this country, it is time for your voices to be heard. This is not a time for petty differences amongst us to divide us. Our sworn enemies – and we all have our little fights in the progressive movement – can no longer be enemies. We have to form a broad, mass democratic alliance here to take on the forces of evil, and the rogues, and the thieves who want to steal our country from us. We need to say to people that if there are ANC councillors in their ward, they need to call that councillor and ask them what they are doing. You can no longer say, ‘Oh, that’s another sphere of government.’ You represent the ANC, you’ve got to be accountable. We need to say to people, ‘call on your ANC MPLs. Ask them what they’re doing.’ And your MPs as well. Call your MPs. When they were sworn in as MPs and MPLs, they swore an oath to the Constitution.
“Party loyalty is important, but when we are in as grave a situation as we are in today, the Constitution that we love and fought for, must take precedence over any lingering notion that party loyalty is above anything. I do not say this lightly. As Kathy said in his letter to the president, he remained silent even though there were many things that worried him. ‘But,’ he said, ‘there is a moment in which you have to break the silence.’ And this is the moment in which ANC MPs sitting in Parliament need to look into themselves and ask, ‘what is the constitutional duty that is imposed upon us in terms of this Constitution?’
“There are two clauses around the Presidency in this Constitution which deal with a president that is not behaving presidentially. The Constitution provides a basis for remedying that fact. This is not silly issues of factional battles in the ANC, these are greater and grander projects about the accountability of our leadership to the rank-and-file of our people. And so I call on everyone here not to remain silent, not to sit on the fence and not to remain looking after your own narrow, self-interest. The country needs to be taken back. A country united is never divided. And this country is not for sale. Thank you.”
Advocate Thuli Madonsela tweeted yesterday: “It is said that most businesses that die are murdered by their own leaders. The same applies to organisations and democracies.”
London-based South African YouTube sensation Caspar Lee tweeted: “South Africa is amazing but our president is terrible. We have so much potential but he has chosen to enrich himself and leave many behind.?”
Julius Sello Malema said: “Ayanda Dlodlo’s appointment is the only one making some sense, the rest is the consolidation of factional battles ahead of December 2017.”
And here is Vytjie Mentor‘s take on why Gordhan was fired:
“WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED IN LONDON:ZUMA VS GORDHAN
“While Gordhan was doing the presentations in London there was a gentleman called Mr Chenkov who kept on asking many questions about South Africa. At one instance he wanted to know if the South African government was looking at developing Nuclear energy. Gordhan quickly squashed the thought of Nuclear and repeatedly confirmed that the south African government will never develop this energy. Mr Chenkov had no further questions.
“After the presentation Mr Chenkov called someone and spoke in Russian but whoever he was speaking to was not impressed and angrily dropped the phone. It is believed that this person immediately called Zuma and threatened him that if he does not immediately trigger the process of changing the finance minister and sign the Nuclear deal as commission has already been paid, he will be taught a lesson. A shaken Zuma immediately called the minister back home. You obviously know what happened!”
Determined" Msholozi walking like "history will absolve me "" fidel Castro salute!!!! pic.twitter.com/Zp1BpmND2q
— RSA Police Minister (@MbalulaFikile) March 31, 2017