South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma sacked finance minister Pravin Gordhan in a major cabinet reshuffle after days of speculation that has rocked the country’s markets and currency, replacing him with home affairs head Malusi Gigaba.
A statement from the president’s office early on Friday said Zuma had also appointed Sfiso Buthelezi as Deputy Finance Minister, replacing Mcebisi Jonas. Zuma also made changes to ten of the country’s 35 ministries, including energy, police, and tourism. He brought in new faces and moved some ministers to new portfolios.
Pressure has been growing on Zuma to step down after he recalled Gordhan, who has a strong reputation as a bulwark against corruption, from a trade trip in London earlier this week. The recall caused South Africa’s rand to lose nearly 5 percent.
Many South Africans had viewed Gordhan as a responsible steward of an economy facing possible credit rating downgrades. Frustration has been growing with Zuma after numerous allegations of corruption.