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SouthAfrican assets took a tumble on Friday after President Jacob Zuma fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan following days of speculation, replacing him with the relatively unknown head of home affairs Malusi Gigaba.

"This is no way meant to undermine the prerogative of the President of the Republic of South Africa in reshuffling or making changes to his cabinet, which is derived from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa".

The ANC needs to be able to justify all its leadership decisions as a collective, he said, and previous decisions have ordinarily been handled that way.

Critics of Zuma say he has long wanted to replace Gordhan with someone who might be more pliant in heading the treasury and have voiced concern that the change might exacerbate corruption.

Rumors Zuma was to replace Gordhan have unsettled markets all week and members of the ANC urged the president to reconsider.

"Some of the events that are happening in the country are contrary to the dream we had for South Africa", he said.

The leader of an ANC radical breakaway group, Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema once said he would "kill" for Zuma.

He congratulated Pravin Gordhan's replacement as finance minister, Malusi Gigaba, a former youth league president.

Ramaphosa, who's seen as a top contender to become the party's next leader, called Zuma's reasons for removing Gordhan as unacceptable. In 2016 the country's Constitutional Court ruled Zuma violated his oath of office by refusing to return government funding used to upgrade his private home. It is "very clear" what and who South Africa's problems are, Gordhan said at the memorial.

The government has reshuffled 10 of the country's 35 ministers, which has created a sense of unease in South Africa.

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PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA-The firing of South Africa's respected finance minister on Friday sent the currency tumbling by close to 5 per cent and brought fresh anger at President Jacob Zuma as a split in the ruling party deepened.

As for Gordhan, he's already called to wish Gigaba and his new deputy luck and will meet with them on Monday for a formal handover.

This was Mr Gordhan's second stint as finance minister after first serving from 2009 to 2014.

"I have told him that I would not agree with him on his reasoning to remove the minister of finance".

According to media reports, Gordhan and Zuma clashed over issues such as the management of state-owned enterprises and the need for big new economic plans.

"Ordinary South Africans shouldn't pay the price for any nonsense created elsewhere", he said.

Gordhan maintained that the hard work done by Treasury officials should not be undone. Banking stocks were also down by a similar amount, while bond yields climbed sharply - a sure sign that investors were becoming less confident in the country's ability to repay its debts.

South Africa's main opposition party, Democratic Alliance, said it would try to remove the President via a vote in Parliament.

The DA also is pushing for a vote of no-confidence in Zuma, who has survived similar votes in the ANC-dominated parliament in the past.

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