The South African president has fired his finance minister and eight other cabinet members in an overhaul that could trigger a revolt and put the country’s credit rating at risk
President Zuma, whose term in office has been tainted by corruption scandals, will now have a free hand over government finances after firing Pravin Gordhan
The move was widely seen as an attempt to control the selection of his successor.
The ruling ANC party, which led the fight against apartheid and came to power under Nelson Mandela in 1994, was rocked by the clear-out of senior figures including finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
The late-night move caused a sharp drop in the value of rand as investors reacted to concerns that Zuma, whose term in office has been tainted by corruption scandals, would now have a free hand over government finances.
Mr Gordhan will be replaced by Malusi Gigaba, said a statement issued late on Thursday by the president’s office.
Zuma said in a statement that the changes were “to bring about radical socio-economic transformation and to ensure that the promise of a better life for the poor and the working class becomes a reality”.
The fired Minister Mr Gordhan has been seen as standing up to the South African President Zuma in cabinet and has warned against corruption becoming rampant.
Many senior ANC figures also opposed the finance minister’s removal.
Pressure has been growing on Mr Zuma to step down amid numerous allegations of corruption.
He denies the claims.