CAPE TOWN – ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu has come out in support of outgoing Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas.
The two were fired from the Finance Ministry late on Thursday night by President Jacob Zuma, who announced a cabinet reshuffle involving 15 ministers.
Gordhan and Jonas have been replaced by Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba and MP Sifiso Buthelezi, respectively.
Mthembu said on Friday that the intelligence report that accuses Gordhan and Jonas of attempting to conspire with foreign forces against the president is questionable.
“I disagree with the removal of Gordhan & Jonas based on a suspect intelligence report. Their commitment to the NDR [national democratic revolution] is unquestionable,” Mthembu tweeted on Friday morning.
Pravin & Jonas will never sell their soul and country to foreign forces . That is plain rubbish . Their crime is their incorruptibility.— Jackson Mthembu (@JacksonMthembu_) March 31, 2017
"Their other crime is defence and protection of our public purse with highest levels of integrity and morality. We stand with them,” Mthembu said.
Mthembu leads the ANC in parliament which has a majority of 249 out of 400 seats in the National Assembly.
Opposition parties have tabled before the speaker of parliament a motion of no confidence in Zuma.
When Gordhan was quizzed by journalists on Friday on how he would vote, he said he would vote with his conscience.