Rand falls after South Africa fires finance minister

South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, has dismissed the country’s finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, ending days of speculation that unsettled markets and the rand (ZAR).

A statement issued by the president’s office confirmed that former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba will replace Gordhan, wh0 earlier this week was recalled from planned events in the UK. The ZAR fell by nearly 5% against other major currencies following the recall and is continuing to decline.

Among other personnel changes in Zuma’s cabinet, Sfiso Buthelezi will become deputy finance minister, replacing Mcebisi Jonas. A total of eight ministers were fired in the reshuffle.

“I have directed the new ministers and deputy ministers to work tirelessly with their colleagues to bring about radical socioeconomic transformation and to ensure that the promise of a better life for the poor and the working class becomes a reality,” Zuma’s statement added.

Last October, Gordhan was charged with fraud. He described the allegations as politically motivated and they were subsequently dropped.

He has won the support of other ministers, international investors and the public in his campaign  for controlled spending and against corruption, but Zuma’s allies have accused him of thwarting the president’s desire to enact “radical economic transformation” tackling racial inequality.

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