Pravin Gordhan remains the finance minister and there is no discussion in the ANC to replace him, the ruling party’s secretary general Gwede Mantashe has said.
“There is no such discussion… he is not to be touched, the president, deputy president and ANC have offered support,” he said at the RMB Morgan Stanley Big Five Investor Conference in Cape Town.
“When it comes, we will engage it. But what should be allowed is to govern and to appoint any minister to any portfolio.”
He emphasised that it was not ministers who made the ANC, but the party which produced “competent cadres” to run portfolios.
“There is no debate about that.”
He referred to how some questioned Nhlanhla Nene’s takeover of the portfolio from “darling of the markets” Trevor Manuel.
Last month, the Hawks insisted that Gordhan present himself at their offices to make a warning statement regarding his alleged contraventions of the National Strategic Intelligence Act and Public Finance Management Act.
These related to his approval of former SARS commissioner Ivan Pillay’s early retirement in 2010 and the creation of an intelligence unit at the service. Gordhan refused to comply with the demand.
Mantashe said the ANC had openly told the relevant parties to stop their public spats.
“Because, say there is a case to answer for Minister Gordhan, it doesn’t send any confidence if you run your battles in public.”
“If needs be, give him a summons, he must go to court.”
He said the “Hollywood approach” of sending questions did not solve anything.
“You must never paint the picture that you are an institution fighting a government you are a part of. Don’t call for prayers for Treasury. You are Treasury of that government.”
Mantashe said the strength of the financial sector, backed by an independent judiciary, was the insurance for the country that would allow people to “invest and sleep well”.