A report stating that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, planned to meet foreign businesses to discredit President Jacob Zuma is believed to be the reason for their recall from the overseas trip.
It is alleged that a report called “Operation Checkmate” was presented to the top six officials of the ANC on Monday as evidence to show why Gordhan and Jonas deserved to be recalled.
The two were abruptly recalled from their investor road trip to the United Kingdom and the United States of America on Monday, with the presidency issuing a one sentence statement without providing any reason.
But the document suggests that they were suspected of being in cahoots with international bankers in a conspiracy against the president.
According to the document: “The bankers are going to be told that the Ministry of Finance and Treasury stand together against the President and the corruption of the Guptas. They will also be told that there is a movement to fire Finance Minster Pravin Gordhan and deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and Treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile by the president.”
The order from Zuma to come back home re-ignited talks that he would use his last ace and reshuffle his Cabinet, doing away with his detractors.
Gordhan is believed to be at the top of that list.
Yesterday Gordhan and Fuzile were spotted at Luthuli House. Both remained mum on what business they were conducting at the ANC headquarters.
Fuzile told journalists on his way out that he still did not know why the finance team was summoned back to the country.
The document goes on to say: “They (the investors) will be given proof of what they are selling of the corruption by the Guptas and how the investment banks need to stand to fight the president. They (Gordhan and Jonas) will inform the banks that if they are fired the financial markets in South Africa will collapse and the rand will go to R18 to R20 to the dollar. They will also tell the banks that they have the support of many in ANC and other parties to force the president out.”
The ANC did not respond to queries on the document.
Meanwhile, the North Gauteng High Court reserved judgement in Gordhan’s application to get legal protection from intervening in the bank closure of the Guptas’ bank accounts.