South Africa’s Zuma de­nies ‘war’ with fi­nance min­is­ter

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

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.

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