Prior to reports emerging that some members of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) planned to use the party’s special NEC meeting on Monday to call for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to be fired – the governing party’s chief parliamentary whip had expressed confidence in his leadership.
Jackson Mthembu took to Twitter early on Monday morning, saying “Minister Pravin Gordhan delivers his budget speech this coming Wednesday. He is a capable minister, worthy of the position he holds.”
Min. Pravin Ghordan delivers his budget speech this coming wednesday . He is a capable minister , worthy of the position he holds.@MYANC .
— Minister Jackson Mthembu (@JacksonMthembu_) February 20, 2017
EWN reported on Monday that some ANC NEC members gathering in Pretoria to prepare for the party’s policy conference in June wanted to put Gordhan’s fitness for the Treasury post firmly on top of the agenda.
The ANC Youth League, Women’s League and Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) have also called on President Jacob Zuma to sack the minister, who they claim is blocking “radical socioeconomic transformation”.
In an interview with Fin24 at his parliamentary office in Cape Town, Mthembu said he doesn’t support former AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s bid to become the first female president of the ANC.
He threw he weight behind Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma when his term ends as ANC leader in December.
“The ANC created the position of deputy president precisely so that you have a person who is ready to take over should anything happen to the president.
“As an ANC member, I put such a person to be deputy because I was preparing that person to be president – case closed,” he said.
Mthembu has previously called on the entire NEC to resign following the ANC’s electoral defeats in the country’s urban metropolitan municipalities during the 2016 local government elections.
Gordhan is due to present the country’s budget speech on Wednesday afternoon in Parliament.