Zuma v Gordhan: the end game – Treasury considers “nuclear bomb” option

By Alec Hogg

When I was fretting recently about consequences of South Africa’s internecine political power battle, an insider told me to relax. The top team at Treasury, he confided, have a plan should deeply compromised President Jacob Zuma make another run at “capturing” the national reserves. They called it the “nuclear bomb” option, something so drastic it will only be effected should Zuma try to eject SA Treasury’s respected leader, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Events of the past few days suggest the Treasury’s collective hand is now hovering over that figurative red button. Gordhan’s refusal to appear before the Hawks triggered an even more aggressive reaction from the Zuma camp. So Gordhan publicly spilled the beans on the role of the Gupta family – and went one step further yesterday by effectively accusing Eskom’s management of shielding the Guptas from overdue investigation.

Treasury’s “nuclear bomb” option is apparently so powerful that it guarantees if Gordhan goes, so will the country’s credit rating (and Rand, and stock market, etc…). Hitting the button will also see the end of Zuma, taking the country to a rock bottom some say is a small price to pay. Hopefully it is not required. But without doubt SA is rapidly approaching the end game in the Zuma v Gordhan saga. And in the short-term at least, it’s a game where nobody wins.

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From Biznews community member Bruce Caddick

I am a Chartered Accountant, by choice my wife and I have made the decision to live out our lives in Zimbabwe, we are both holders of UK passports, however our Faith leads us to believe that Zimbabwe is where God wants us to be. We have lots to do in Bulawayo and Zimbabwe, we live fulfilled lives if not financially productive. And the weather is great.
Things may change as our 4 sons are all living in the UK, and as they marry and have children that draw may call us to the UK.
Over the last 20 years or so ,as Zimbabwe’s economy has lurched from crisis to crisis, I have been asked many times when we will hit “Rock bottom”, the inference from this is that the only way would be up. My standard reply to this has been “What does rock bottom look like?” “To me Rock Bottom is when we are all living in caves, no electricity, no running water, and living off the land. Look at Somalia, look at Darfur, look at Syria.”

Sir, to say that the Treasury’s nuclear bomb will be tragic, I agree. To say the South Africa will then be at “Rock Bottom” I am not so sure, our leaders greed can always do much more to increase the devastation to ordinary lives. We outside of South Africa are praying for your leaders and the democratic process in South Africa, as we cannot afford for South Africa to go the way of Zimbabwe.