South African President Jacob Zuma fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and replaced him with Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, two people familiar with the decision said, declining to be identified because an announcement hasn’t been made.
Zuma will make an announcement relating to changes to the National Executive later Thursday, the Presidency said in emailed statement. He told senior ruling party leaders earlier this week of his plans and was opposed by three of the top six officIals. Broadcaster eNCA also reported that Gordhan has been dismissed.
The dismissal late Thursday came after a meeting of the top six members of the ruling African National Congress at Zuma’s private residence in Pretoria, the capital.
It capped a dramatic week when Zuma ordered Gordhan on March 27 to cancel a series of meetings with investors in the U.K. and the U.S. and return home. The president told the senior ANC members this week that intelligence reports suggested Gordhan was trying to undermine his authority.
His dismissal marked the end of a stormy relationship that began almost as soon as Zuma named Gordhan, 67, as finance minister in December 2015, four days after he triggered a sell-off in the rand by giving the post to a little-known lawmaker.
Gordhan’s efforts to keep spending in check and protect South Africa’s investment-grade credit rating endeared him to investors. Yet he clashed with his boss over the affordability of building nuclear power plants and the management of state-owned companies.