Gordhan: I hope to have tea with Zuma soon
Katharine Child | 2017-03-31 16:08:59.0
Fired finance minister Pravin Gordhan believes he and President Jacob Zuma can maintain a friendly relationship.
Speaking at a press conference with Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas‚ Gordhan was asked about his relationship with President Jacob Zuma‚ who fired him on Thursday night.
“I have known him since 1974…There have always been constructive engagements. I hope to visit him soon and have a cup of tea and talk about things we have mutual interest in‚” he said.
Outside the briefing at the Treasury’s offices‚ crowds sang and called for corruption in government to end.
The protest was organised by civil society group Save South Africa.
March attendee Kim Harrisburg said she had come out to the event “because it is better than using Twitter or complaining… about the state of the country.”
Brakpan resident Bongani Mguni said he believed other countries including Russia and China knew South Africa was up for sale. He vowed to continue protesting.
Moegamat Abrahams had come from Midrand‚ missing a few hours of work.
He said “everybody is not happy about the corruption … Zuma is doing his own thing.”
Gordhan addressed the crowd thanking them for their support. He said ordinary South Africans had to take a stand against corruption.
He also called on the ANC to fight corruption.
Earlier Gordhan used his press conference to ask television station ANN7 to come forward and ask him a question.
He said he was tired of the constant attacks by the broadcaster‚ who had employed analyst questioning Pravin’s leadership of the Treasury.
ANN7 is owned by the Gupta family owned Oakbay‚ who are currently fighting Gordhan in court.
The Gupta family‚ who are close allies of President Jacob Zuma‚ have been accused of attempting to capture the state for the purposes of furthering their business interests.
“Why do you attack family members? Play fair. Be transparent. We have nothing to hide‚” he said.
He pushed the station to speak to him publicly and join media and ask questions at the press conference.
“This is an open democracy”.
Commenting on South Africa’s economic future‚ Gordhan said he didn’t believe South Africa will be downgraded to junk status unless there was “nonsense”.
An investment rating downgrade to junk status would make borrowing money more expensive for government and ordinary South Africans.