ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe skirted around the controversy surrounding finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas after President Jacob Zuma recalled them from an international investor tour without any explanation.
Speaking at the post-NEC meeting on Monday‚ Mantashe said they were not aware of why Zuma made the eleventh-hour recall.
“That is a cabinet matter. We don’t know how it is done‚” he said.
Mantashe said he didn’t know of it were related to whether no permission was sought for the trip or not.
The ANC’s top officials were yet to meet to discuss the matter on Monday afternoon.
They first met with officials from the SA Communist Party for a follow-up meeting after the SACP raised concerns about the influence of the Gupta family on the president.
Mantashe would not say if ANC officials were told of an imminent reshuffle which is what many believe is due to happen.
TimesLive understands that the recall of the minister and deputy minister as well as the instruction to cancel the tour to London‚ Boston and New York was not related to it being unauthorised.
A source with knowledge of the trip said there was full consensus that a follow-up tour was needed to reassure investors and it was authorised by the Presidency.
“It is a mess. Many of those who joined the SA delegation are leaving tonight and this time they are paying for the trip themselves. Treasury said they can’t pay for everyone. Most people agreed to join for the good of the economy. Now all of that is wasted‚” the source said.
Treasury has written confirmation from the Presidency that its political heads and top officials would be meeting investors for much of this week.
Supporting this was the fact that science and technology minister‚ Naledi Pandor‚ was officially made acting minister of finance in the interim.
– TMG Digital/The Times