Pravin Gordhan: grace under pressure and a picture of courage
BRUCE'S LIST: SA’s prebudget blues
Pravin Gordhan may not be on the chopping block just yet – but with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma waiting in the wings, anything’s possible
I feel quite emotional about what finance minister Pravin Gordhan will do later today when he delivers the national budget. Before and as he speaks, the television cameras will turn to the government benches. As that happens, I’ll try and identify those MPs who want him to succeed and those who don’t. In a way, the individuals don’t matter. The numbers do – and, for the moment, they’re against him. That, at least, is the calculation of the wiliest political calculator in the land, President Jacob Zuma. Zuma will applaud Gordhan along. So will deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, sitting next to him. Only, Ramaphosa wants Gordhan to succeed. This is the thing about the fighting inside the ANC: it is door-to-door, office-to-office, bench-to-bench. It is so close and so fierce it is hard to watch. But watch we must, so we don’t forget. Gordhan is the epitome of courage; he is grace under pressure. Zuma, on the other hand, is a calculating sneak who daren’t wear his politics on his sleeve ...