S. African leader overhauls cabinet; sacks FM Gordhan

Mar 31, 2017, 8:09 AM EDT
South African President Jacob Zuma
(Source: GovernmentZA/flickr)

South African President Jacob Zuma carried out a dramatic overhaul of his cabinet late on Thursday, sacking Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and inducting 10 new cabinet members, who are seen as loyalists to the leader facing widespread dissent over graft allegations.

Although Zuma described the abrupt revamp as part of a “radical socio-economic transformation,” analysts consider it a politically motivated action that targeted detractors and embraced loyalists, writes the BBC.

The political instability manifested in the sacking of such high-profile functionaries is expected to hit the country’s economy, and that was visible as South Africa's rand crashed by more than 5% overnight. The ruling party’s allies have earlier warned Zuma against replacing Gordhan, who is considered a “bulwark against corruption” in S. Africa, notes Al Jazeera.