The Democratic Alliance (DA) says the instruction from President Jacob Zuma to recall finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas from an investor roadshow appears to be an attempt to humiliate Gordhan.
DA spokesperson for finance David Maynier says the move is a "major setback for the economy".
"The instruction to cancel the international investor roadshow without explanation is so bizarre that it appears, at best, calculated to humiliate the minister or, at worst, to suggest that the minister is about to be fired in a Cabinet reshuffle," he said.
The presidency instructed Gordhan and Jonas to cancel an international investor roadshow on Monday. Gordhan was called back from overseas while Jonas was instructed not to follow him (he was due to fly out on Monday).
Treasury staff were shocked by the news on Monday, less than 24-hours before Gordhan's application asking the High Court to tell the Guptas to back off Treasury is heard. Gordhan's trip was supposed to improve investor confidence, and the news of its cancellation caused the rand to tank.
Maynier said the news could not have come at a worse time, as Gordhan was battling low investor confidence.
"The fact is that President Jacob Zuma must provide a public explanation for the fact that he has instructed the Minister of Finance, together with the Deputy Minister of Finance, to cancel their international investor roadshow and immediately return to South Africa," he said.