President Jacob Zuma must go ahead and fire Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan if he wants, but then live with the consequences, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said on Tuesday.
“We are not obsessed with Pravin. We are not defenders of Pravin. We are the defenders of the integrity of the institutions of the state, particularly Treasury,” leader Julius Malema told reporters.
He said the uncertainty surrounding Gordhan’s future as minister was not helping the country.
“Let him [Zuma] decide and justify his decision and stand by the decision if he thinks it’s correct.”
He said the EFF would approach the Constitutional Court to compel Parliament to discipline Zuma for having failed to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution.
In a judgment handed down on March 31, 2016, the court found that Zuma failed to uphold the Constitution when he ignored former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendation that he repay some of the R246-million spent on so-called security upgrades to his private homestead in Nkandla.
Malema then turned his attention to “Nenegate”. On December 9, 2015, Zuma fired Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister and replaced him with “that clown” African National Congress MP David van Rooyen.
Following a public outcry and the rand plunging against the US dollar, Zuma replaced Van Rooyen with Gordhan on December 13.
“He then removed that clown. He is a coward and must live by his decision,” Malema said of Zuma.
“Pravin must not resign, sitting there is very nice. We want to see what this man is going to do, let him take action,” he said.