The chief whip of the main opposition Democratic Alliance has described President Zuma’s reshuffle as a “midnight massacre”, AFP news agency reports.
John Steenhuisen accused newly appointed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba of having links with the influential Gupta family, who have extensive business interests, which he has strenuously denied in the past:
Zuma has got what he wanted, a Gupta ally in control [of the treasury].
Bad news for our country, bad news for the economy but mostly bad news for the nine million unemployed South Africans.”
Gupta family members have repeatedly denied accusations by opposition parties that they wield undue influence over Mr Zuma and members of his administration.
ANC youth wing backs Zuma reshuffle
Among the chorus of condemnation for Mr Zuma’s sackings, there is also support for his moves in some sections of his ANC party.
The ANC youth wing said it welcomed the reshuffle and appointment of the “experienced and intelligent” Malusi Gigaba as finance minister.
“Younger ministers will mean more transformation,” Youth League leader Collen Maine told Reuters, citing land redistribution, free education and the creation of a state bank as reforms the youth league wanted.
In it, President Jacob Zuma is seen stabbing Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in the back, after he requests his assistance during an “operation” on the country’s economy:
And South Africa’s leading political cartoonist Zapiro has reshared a cartoon from March last year, in which President Zuma is depicted as a lapdog eating out of the hand of one of the members of the powerful Gupta family, who are lined up on the sofa together.
The Guptas have denied accusations that they wielded undue political influence and tried to interfere with the appointment of ministers.