South Africa skirts economic meltdown as President Jacob Zuma’s allies moving yet again to neutralise Pravin Gordhan, the finance minister made a dramatic vow: that he is prepared to die to save the country from those trying to loot the treasury.
The country’s prosecution service denies media reports that it’s about to charge Gordhan with corruption.
Before heading abroad for a fortnight, Zuma issued a statement saying he’s not empowered to stop investigations against the finance minister.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was in defiant mood when he addressed his staff on Friday.
Sources in the meeting behind closed doors said Gordhan warned them not to be surprised if he was sacked.
He said he’d spent years risking his life fighting apartheid and he was once again prepared to die to block thieves trying to access public funds.
He vowed not to stop investigating illegal state contracts.
Many of these have involved companies belonging to the Gupta family, who used their improperly close relationship with Zuma to influence government appointments and policies.
The Guptas gave notice at the weekend that they’re selling up their business interests in South Africa and quitting the country by the end of the year.
Growing numbers senior ANC members and their ruling alliance partners the SA Communist Party warn that persecuting Gordhan risks driving the currency down to unprecedented levels and watching South Africa be downgraded to junk status by international credit ratings agencies.