South Africa’s Treasury has been captured by the controversial Gupta family who have used President Jacob Zuma as their tool, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said on Friday.
“This Treasury and the country have been captured…we are in a crisis, we are going to do anything in our power to fight President Zuma. What he did last night [Thursday] was not in the best interest of the country,” EFF leader Julius Malema told reporters in Johannesburg.
“Zuma has captured the Treasury, which means the Guptas have captured Treasury…he has achieved what he always wanted to achieve.”
He claimed that through incoming Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, the Treasury has now been placed at the “gates of Saxonwold shebeen”.
He said his party was in talks with other political parties to find a way to remove Zuma from the highest office.
“We are speaking to business leaders, unions, churches to find a strategy on we can remove Zuma. We now have to put aside our political differences to ensure there is unity of purpose to rescue this country.”
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has tabled a new motion of no confidence in Parliament against Zuma. Malema said the EFF would support the motion to remove the president, and had the support of some of the African National Congress (ANC) top leaders.
He added that every ANC MP would be approached individually, in an effort to woe them to vote against Zuma along with opposition parties.
“We still need 70 votes from ANC to vote with us..we know that Themba Godi [APC leader] will not side with us, we also have doubts about the National Freedom Front [NFP] voting with us. But we are certain AIC, IFP will vote with us given previous experiences.”
The newest motion of no confidence was not a waste of time, he added.
Zuma executed the long-anticipated Cabinet reshuffle late on Thursday night. He fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas and replaced them with Gigaba and Sfiso Buthelezi respectively.
The rand tanked overnight as speculations over the change in the country’s executive raged on.
Zuma announced 10 changes to the Cabinet and 10 more at deputy minister level.
Apart from Gordhan, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, who last year mooted a vote of no confidence in Zuma at the ANC NEC, was also axed from Cabinet. Hanekom said he only found out he had been sacked from media reports and that no reason had been advanced.
Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramathlodi, were also fired.