Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says President Jacob Zuma's decision to “release him and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas from their responsibilities” was based on a nonsensical, so-called intelligence report.
Gordhan and Jonas held a briefing in Pretoria, following Zuma's early Cabinet reshuffle where the former minister and his deputy shed some light on the events leading to the controversial decision publicised this morning.
“We learnt of our fate from the TV screen”, said Gordhan. “Not from a phone call, not from a chat”.
Gordhan expressed that the two major reasons for the president’s decision involved the unsanctioned nature of the investor roadshow which was underway – along with allegations that it served as an excuse to orchestrate and plan political sabotage towards president Zuma - and the intelligence report received by the president in recent weeks concerning the ethical standing of the two ousted MPs.
On the former, Gordhan explained that the roadshow represented an annual and fruitful endeavour for the treasury, while on the latter he emphasised that the report was baseless.
“But this is a so-called intelligence report, which said, among others, that the two of us and director general Fuzile Lungisa are involved in a massive conspiracy to undermine this country. If you read it, it’s absolute nonsense. This is not the basis on which you fire.”
He added that allegations which pointed towards political back-stabbing, sickened him and his colleagues.
“I often have to remind people that I did not apply for this job”, he explained.
Gordhan expressed gratitude toward both the president and the country for the opportunity to work in service of the South African people in his post as Finance Minister.