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South Africa's new finance minister notes 'mutual suspicion'

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The writing may be on the wall for South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan as a cabinet reshuffle is said to be looming

"It raises question marks about President Zuma's leadership and the motives behind this cabinet reshuffle", said director at Political Futures Consultancy Daniel Silke.

He resisted calls from the president to increase government expenditure. "Younger ministers will mean more transformation", ANC Youth League leader Collen Maine said, citing land redistribution, free education and the creation of a state bank as reforms the youth league wanted. "In the longer term, however, it may lead to the downfall of Zuma and his patronage, which will certainly be a good thing for South Africa", said economist Dawie Roodt. Fellow opposition parties have suggested their support on the matter, although they will need a further 50 (of 249) votes from the ANC ruling party to oust Zuma.

Gordhan has slammed allegations that he held a secret meeting overseas in an attempt to undermine the country and its economy. "But we can not say we don't know what the problems are or who the problem is‚" said Gordhan.

With eight months left before the ANC holds its elective conference, factions within the ANC are working overtime not only to prevent Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma from ascending to the throne, but to stop President Zuma's cronies, benefactors and hangers-on from accessing billions of rands in state tenders.

Mr Zuma has yet to give a reason for sacking Mr Gordhan. This led to Zuma calling on Gordhan to cancel the global investment roadshows to Britain and the USA and immediately return to the country this week. "It's so fundamentally flawed".

The financial markets as well as the credit rating agencies will also be expecting to see conservative fiscal policies still being followed and that the anti-patronage stance taken by former Minister Gordhan will be upheld.

Zuma sacked Gordhan and several other ministers on Thursday in a shock move that sent the rand currency tumbling amid fears of a political crisis in South Africa.

An intelligence report that Zuma said showed Gordhan was trying to undermine his government was "unsubstantiated allegations", Ramaphosa said, adding that the former finance minister "served our country with such distinction".

What's behind South African finance minister's sacking?

Gordhan's name alone stabilised the markets which had been gripped by panic after Des Van Rooyen's surprise appointment in 2015.

"After the departure of Gordhan, who had been at odds with the Guptas, "[the] Treasury will lose its credibility as it becomes a clearing house for looting", Hartley wrote.

"We have been doing our best to reassure rating agencies, investors and South Africans finances are safe in our hands".

He urged South Africans to see a pattern of events, and not to view each incident in isolation.

Born in the port city of Durban in 1949, Gordhan's political life began as a pharmacy student at the University of Durban-Westville, an Indians-only institution established during white-minority rule.

ANC Top 6 member Zweli Mkhize believes that President Jacob Zuma's wanton ignoring of his party's concerns over this week's Cabinet reshuffle shows that he has gone on his own and that the party no longer comes first.

South Africa's main opposition party, Democratic Alliance, said it would try to remove the president via a vote in parliament.

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