Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan was one of the members of President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet that rose in support of Tourism Minister Derik Hanekom's call for Zuma to be recalled, sources told The HuffPost SA on Tuesday.
According to senior members of the African National Congress (ANC) with direct access to Monday's proceedings at the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC), Gordhan concurred with Hanekom's proposal that Zuma step down.
According to sources — senior members of the African National Congress with direct access to Monday's proceedings at the meeting of the National Executive Committee — Gordhan concurred with Hanekom's proposal hat Zuma step down.
When efforts by Zuma's opponents failed, Gordhan and his fellow ministers apparently threatened to resign from Cabinet, and the last part of the meeting was spent persuading them not to follow through on their threat. It is unclear whether they succeeded, or exactly what the discussions entailed.
Besides Gordhan, Hanekom also had the support of ministers Aaron Motsoaledi (health), Thulas Nxesi (public works) and Naledi Pandor (science and technology), as well as Jackson Mthembu, chief whip in Parliament.
Hanekom's motion of no-confidence was not put to a vote, and NEC members were instead called on to put forward their own arguments in support or opposition of the motion. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former Cabinet minister, chair of the African Union Commission and Zuma's rumoured choice to succeed him, "spoke strongly in favour of Zuma", according to one of The HuffPost SA's sources. When it became clear the Zuma faction had the numbers, Gordhan and some of his Cabinet colleagues said they would be forced to resign if Zuma was not recalled.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former Cabinet minister, chair of the African Union Commission and Zuma's rumoured choice to succeed him, "spoke strongly in favour of Zuma", according to one of HuffPost SA's sources.
News24's Mahlatse Gallens reported on Tuesday that Zuma told the NEC he won't resign because there are people that want to see him in jail and that he will basically be handing himself over if he does so. He added Nkandla, allegations of corruption and the so-called spy tapes "were created by the enemy".
Ralph Mathekga, political analyst, says he doesn't believe any minster will resign even though it is the only principled option left to them.
"They have now said they don't have any confidence in the president to lead. It follows therefore that they can't remain in Cabinet. It however goes much further than that: MP's like Jackson Mthembu should also now resign, if they are really serious about opposing Zuma."
"They have now said they don't have any confidence in the president to lead. It follows therefore that they can't remain in Cabinet.Ralph Mathekga, political analyst
Mathekga says he is unsure which principles ministers such as Gordhan would be defending by remaining in Cabinet. "Are they worried about national stability or about the unity of the ANC? They have put their cards on the table and they should call a press conference where they say 'we cannot in good conscience serve in Cabinet.' It won't happen, though."
The ANC will be holding a press conference on Tuesday at 2pm.
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