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At the height of Pravin Gordhan's raging battle against his boss, former president Jacob Zuma, I had to often remind myself not to get lost in the personality clashes and to focus on the importance of the office of finance minister. Backers of the former president pushed the narrative that Gordhan was undermining Zuma and fanned the flames of this battle royale between the supposed "white monopoly capital" defender-in-chief and a president fighting the good battle of "radical economic transformation". This argument only served to blind us to their real motives as we've come to learn.What was lost in this battle was just how important stability was in this most senior cabinet position, and perhaps, secondly, the personality. This is especially the case for a small emerging-market country such as ours, so heavily reliant on foreign sources of capital. A change of Treasury head at any of the world's larger economies such as the US or Japan hardly registers as a threat to their fis...

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