South African Rand in Fresh Tumble as ANC Get Behind Zuma

South Africa's largest trade union has joined calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down.

The ANC's national working committee has since said that a "breakdown" in the relationship between Gordhan and Zuma led to the former finance minister's dismissal.

Although the congress said Ghordan was no "friend of the workers", it complained it had not been consulted for the first time in Zuma's presidency.

On the agenda was the Cabinet reshuffle, the economic downgrade by Standard & Poor's, as well as calls for Zuma to resign, Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said.

Many analysts believe Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, were removed because of their anti-corruption activities and their refusal to loosen the treasury's purse strings to pay for Zuma's development plans, which they insisted the country could not afford.

In a bid to reassure markets, Zuma said he expected the addition of "many young ministers" to "add renewed energy into Cabinet and the executive". A Public Prosecutor's State Capture dossier is gathering dust, while President Jacob Zuma and his elite group continue to build power and ransack state coffers.

The rand, which fell as much as 1.9 percent at the start of trading on Tuesday, trimmed some losses to trade 0.2 percent lower after Cosatu called on Zuma to step down.

In its trademark arrogance, the ANC has described South Africans calling for change as "mischievous" and "faceless", making it abundantly clear that the ANC does not care about the people.

"We should not allow inflammatory rhetoric from certain elements, including on social media, to damage our fragile social fabric and turn South Africans against each other", said the ruling party. "We wish him well", Mhlauli said.

ANC members used the funeral service of ANC struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada last Wednesday to voice their dissatisfaction over the president's leadership.

S&P Global Ratings cited Gordhan's departure as one reason for its downgrade of South Africa to "junk" in an unscheduled credit rating review on Monday, a move that is set to push up the country's borrowing costs.

Former President Kgalema Motlanthe also said that it was hard for Mr Zuma to command respect after the constitutional court found him in breach of the law when he failed to repay government money spent on his private home.

But, on March 31, an overnight Cabinet reshuffle saw Gordhan replaced by Zuma-loyalist Malusi Gigaba. The ruling ANC party has backed Zuma, and rejected calls for him to resign.



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