Former president Thabo Mbeki has also reacted, warning that if the president doesn’t explain his actions properly and honestly, the country risks major and very serious social instability.

Mbeki says the reshuffle comes at a time when there has been much persistent and serious public concern and unease about the state of South Africa and he’s absolutely certain the president’s move will further deepen that concern.

The statesman says he hopes Zuma will take the necessary and urgent steps to explain to the country more than he has, why the changes were necessary and in the public interest.

Meanwhile, retired Constitutional Court Judge Zak Yacoob has called on Zuma to resign, saying he is everything the ANC doesn’t stand for.

He believes Zuma only wanted to get rid of Gordhan but the other ministers and deputy ministers were caught in the cross-fire.

Yacoob says Gordhan was doing things the right way while Zuma wanted to do things in a “roguish” way.

“My own view is that we have to get much worse before we get better and I hope our rogue president does lots more miserable things quite quickly so that we can reach the bottom level. It’s like getting rid of the sand and getting to the foundation from which we can grow again.”

Both the women’s league and the youth league of the ANC have welcomed the Cabinet shake-up.