Van Rooyen dumped as Finance Minister after just four days
After just four days that saw the rand plummet in value, one time allies speak out and a neverending stream of criticism on social media, President Jacob Zuma has demoted Finance Minister David van Rooyen – who was sworn in to office on Thursday. According to a statement issued late tonight (Sunday) van Rooyen will job swap with the former Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, who is currently minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
Gordhan held office at the treasury before Nhlanhla Nene, who was sacked on Wednesday, reportedly for standing up to Zuma over financial plans for South African Airways.
In the statement, Zuma says that he has listened to the criticism – The Economist said that the decision to fire Nene “could not have been more foolish” – and reconsidered his decision.
“I have appointed Pravin Gordhan, the current minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs as the new minister of finance. Minister Gordhan will return to a portfolio that he had held proficiently during the fourth administration,” the Presidency said.
Initial reactions on Twitter have been a mix of jubilation, astonishment and a fear that now the country looks really out of control.
Or that the ANC took back the reins. I'd put my money on that. https://t.co/KjHS3UEQHu
— Ferial Haffajee (@ferialhaffajee) December 13, 2015
I refuse to believe this until I see Zuma making the announcement. Totally unprecedented. https://t.co/nWfr05lLIs
— Trevor Ncube (@TrevorNcube) December 13, 2015
When your only act as Minister was to denounce a parody Twitter account in your name, it did not go well for you.
— Pierre de Vos (@pierredevos) December 13, 2015
Van Rooyen's CV:
9-13 December 2015: Minister of Finance, South Africa
– sworn in
– shuffled elsewhere
— Khadija Patel (@khadijapatel) December 13, 2015
[Image – From the apparently defunct game Flappy Zuma. Seemed appropriate.]
JZ is not fit to be a head of any government. I call on him & his choir of sycophantic supporters to step aside for the sake of our country
— Zwelinzima Vavi (@Zwelinzima1) December 13, 2015