BREAKING: South African President Zuma about to fire ministers

South Africa President Jacob Zuma has gathered the rest of the ANC’s top six to an urgent meeting in Pretoria.

President Jacob Zuma during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces in Cape Town, South Africa February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

It is not clear what the meeting is about at the moment.

The officials, Cyril Ramaphosa‚ Baleka Mbete‚ Gwede Mantashe‚ Jessie Duarte and Zweli Mkhize, were called to a meeting at short notice to the presidential home, Mahlambandlopfu, at 18:30.

Some ministers were informed to be on standby. We understands that nine ministers, including Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, and six deputy ministers will be affected by the reshuffle.

The SACP, an alliance partner of the ANC, confirmed on Thursday that Zuma told the party on Wednesday that he planned to fire Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas based on an “intelligence report”.

The report contains claims that Gordhan and Jonas were going to use the trip to the UK and US to push for a change in government.

Gordhan was summarily recalled from the United Kingdom, leg of the trip on Monday. Zuma gave no official reasons.

According to the report, Gordhan, Jonas and Treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile had set up “secret meetings” to start “operation Check Mate” and to tell investors they stood together against Zuma and the corruption of the Guptas.

President Jocob Zuma faces a rebellion within his own party should he fire Gordhan, with about 12 ministers considering resigning from their positions and then fighting for the president’s removal if he goes ahead, according to four people familiar with the situation.

Deputy President Ramaphosa and some deputy ministers may also resign, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

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The officials would keep their seats in Parliament and possibly support or abstain from a vote of no confidence in the president if it is called by the opposition or by members of the ANC, said the sources.

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