05/04/2017 11:52 SAST | Updated 05/04/2017 12:05 SAST

Mantashe: Gordhan's Relationship With Zuma Was Irretrievable

The ANC secretary general says the broken relationship between President Jacob Zuma and Pravin Gordhan was the reason he was fired.

African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe.
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

The ANC says it has accepted President Jacob Zuma's explanation that he fired finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, because of a breakdown in their relationship.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe briefed the media on Wednesday after a meeting of the ANC's National Working Committee (NWC) on Tuesday. The meeting was extended to include the provincial chairpersons and secretaries of the party.

Mantashe said the president was not obliged to give reasons why he fired Gordhan. He said the controversy that ensued was not about the cabinet reshuffle, but about the sacking of the finance minister.

He said the "irretrievable breakdown" in the relationship between Gordhan and his boss was sufficient explanation for the axing.

"The reality of the matter is there was a breakdown in the relationship between the president and the minister", he said.

He said the so-called "intelligence" report that was circulated was the only reason given for Gordhan's firing in the media, when this was not the case.

The report said Zuma had called Gordhan back from a meeting with investors oversees because he had met with regime change plotters in London.