Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema on Tuesday tweeted that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will be replaced by Brian Molefe, after the funeral of struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada on Wednesday.
Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas were ordered by President Jacob Zuma to return to the country from an investment roadshow in the UK on Monday, fuelling speculation that Gordhan will be replaced.
In a series of tweets, Malema said African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Gwede Mantashe has already informed Gordhan of the president’s intention to replace him with Molefe.
“PG (Pravin Gordhan) and MJ (Mcebisi Jonas) are going to be removed from the Executive; the top six respects Zuma’s prerogative to appoint and dismiss Ministers,” Malema said in a tweet.
“Speculation is that the duo may be fired tomorrow evening, after Uncle Kathy's funeral. JZ (Jacob Zuma) will make sure that the funeral is not used as a launching pad for a campaign against him.”
Malema did not verify where he got his information from. EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi could not be reached for comment.
Earlier Bloomberg reported that Zuma told South African Communist Party leaders that he plans to fire Gordhan. At least three people with knowledge of the matter confirmed this to Bloomberg.
In a statement on Monday, Gordhan said he had not been recalled, but "asked to come back home" and had been planning on returning to South Africa anyway.
On Tuesday afternoon, Gordhan told journalists that he was still the minister of finance as he was leaving court proceedings in Johannesburg.