It seems the #ZumaMustFall tag is back in full force, and for good reason. While South Africans were riding high on the best performance of the Rand in over two years, little did we know that the man in charge was about to pull the rug out. In a decision that was highly opposed by both ANC members and almost every other political party, Zuma has fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. This is a sad day for the people of South Africa, but is it the beginning of the end for our democracy as well?
In a shock move that could be enough to throw the economy into the junk pile, Zuma made a power play and took it upon himself to destabilize the country in one foul swoop. Getting rid of opposition, attempting to secure his power for a little while longer, this move has led to a stream of calls from Zuma to finally step down. Putting his own business interests and friendships first, this is not a man working for the betterment of his nation, but a vampire sucking the bones dry. Now following up the decision with the firing of eight other cabinet members, this move not only threatens the president’s own position, but also places the nation’s investment grade credit rating at risk. The reshuffle of cabinet is sure to destabilise the country as well as the ruling party. With an already unsure start to the year, questions bouncing around about what to expect from interest rates and trade, it seems the government is taking a turn for the worst.
Having appointed the, now former, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba to replace Gordhan, the reasoning is a little unclear. A minister with experience in many industries and a strong education, this is not his field of expertise in anyway. With no financial or business experience, the appointment of this loyalist is reducing faith in the South African treasury. With many thinking this position was given to further Zuma’s hold on power rather than to benefit the country, there is surely vast amounts of turmoil to follow.
Quickly bolstering support for the anti-Zuma movement within the government, could this mean that the man in charge has finally hammered the last nail into his political coffin? Ridding his cabinet with all those opposing corruption based history, instead finding loyal supporters to take their place, this has caused a huge rift in the ANC and its supporters. Now it seems both internally in across the board, #ZumaMustFall has become a trending topic once again.
With a shift in spending from government backed programs to debt repayment, this could be the tipping point for South Africa, aiming the future right at the drain – now we wait to hear the sound of flushing.