NEWS

'Not our business,' says ANC of Gordhan's recall

Meanwhile the rand slides.

27/03/2017 18:19 SAST | Updated 27/03/2017 18:40 SAST
Esa Alexander/The Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas

President Jacob Zuma's recalling Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan from an overseas trip has nothing to do with the African National Congress, secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday.

The ANC knew nothing about the decision as it was a government matter, he told reporters at a briefing about the ANC's national executive committee meeting.

Earlier, the Presidency said both Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas had been instructed to return from an investor roadshow trip to London, Boston and New York. No reason was given.

The move fuelled speculation that Zuma was preparing to reshuffle his Cabinet.

Mantashe said they had yet to have their weekly meeting with the ANC's top six officials to get a briefing from Zuma.

Mantashe said the party would not fuel speculation about a reshuffle or that claims that Gordhan was summoned back over a court case involving the Gupta family.

Concern over capacity

Gordhan is seeking a declaratory order to protect the Treasury's executive from having to intervene in the decision by the country's top four bans to close the Gupta family's bank accounts.

Zuma appointed Gordhan after he made the disastrous decision to replace Nhlanhla Nene with Des van Rooyen in December 2015.

The rand weakened against the US dollar in reaction to Monday's news. It fell 40c and later recovered to R12.60.

"The real impact will be seen when there are any other steps," Mantashe said.

The ANC's executive was critical of the capacity of its deployees in Cabinet.

This followed the Constitutional Court ruling on March 17 about the distribution of social grants, after Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini failed to find a new service provider to take over from Cash Paymaster Services.

"The capacity of the state to deliver against the resolutions of the ANC was raised as a matter of serious concern by the NEC. It is the view of the NEC that many challenges currently experienced are a direct consequence of the glaring lack of capacity within the state," Mantashe said.

Mantashe said the NEC had decided to develop an accountability framework for all ANC members in government, to ensure stronger oversight of the implementation of ANC resolutions.

"The very fact that the courts are playing a more interventionist role in governance is reflective of our role in abdicating our governance responsibilities to the judiciary. Judicial overreach occurs in instances where the executive and the legislature fail to deal adequately with matters before them," Mantashe said.

This did not mean the ANC had a negative attitude toward the courts.

"If a particular minister has not done what she should do and that case ends up in court, the outcome of that process will be respected by the ANC and its government," he said.

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