There's no doubt in anyone's mind that Ahmed Kathrada's funeral would be sad as well as a joyous event as we mourned his death, but celebrated his life as a anti-apartheid activist and African National Congress member. For Pravin Gordhan though, this day may be more of an emotional roller coaster than it is for anyone else.
Gordhan, who might be fired Wednesday, was asked to stand by the executive director of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, Neeshan Balton. Balton told Gordhan that no matter what position he held, he upheld the values of Kathrada. Gordhan received a standing ovation and after he sat down, he wiped away tears.
The finance minister's future hangs in the balance as murmurs of his imminent dismissal mount. This week he was called back from an international investment promotion tour, which led to speculation that he was going to get fired. The following day, Gordhan went to Luthuli House before appearing in court for his case against the Guptas. According to sources aware of Treasury's strategies, Gordhan knows President Jacob Zuma wants to fire him but he will not resign. If Zuma wants him gone, he will have to fire him.
The president sent a statement on Wednesday morning indicating that he would not be attending Kathrada's funeral because of the family's wishes. A Cabinet meeting that was scheduled for Wednesday morning will be held later afternoon instead, after the funeral.
If speculation is correct, we won't be calling Gordhan "finance minister" by the end of the day.
We're feeling PG's pain too.