South Africa’s Zuma denies ‘war’ with finance minister
South African President Jacob Zuma denied he's "at war" with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan over the leadership of the nation's tax agency and said the minister's position isn't in jeopardy.
"The President wishes to emphasize that minister Gordhan remains the Minister of Finance and any positing that the position of the minister is under any threat is dismissed," his spokesman Bongani Majola said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. Reports that Zuma and Gordhan are in conflict is "a total fabrication and mischievous sensationalism," he said. Gordhan said on Friday that Tom Moyane, the South African Revenue Service commissioner Zuma appointed in 2014, showed "totally unacceptable" behavior by defying orders to halt a management and systems overhaul. He threatened to resign after Zuma told him that Moyane should keep his post, Johannesburg's Business Day newspaper reported, citing unidentified government sources.
"The difficulty in the relationship between the Minister of Finance and the SARS Commissioner is being dealt with through the correct channels, using the correct legal prescripts," Majola said. "Measures are being put in place to address the issues responsibly and amicably."
Widely respected among investors, Gordhan also enjoys some support from opposition parties and the African National Congress, with the ruling party Friday expressing "full confidence" in him and his efforts to restore faith in Africa's secondbiggest economy. Zuma reappointed Gordhan as finance minister, a post he had held from 2009 to 2014, in December after his decision to replace littleknown lawmaker David van Rooyen sparked a selloff in the rand and the nation's bonds.