Domenica, 21 Febbraio 2016 21:58

<div> | DA slams Zuma's 'unwise' Van Rooyen remarks</div>

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Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma’s claims that Des vanRooyen was more qualified than any minister he’d ever appointed in the FinanceMinistry was “unwise”, the DA said on Monday.

Zuma said during

a press conference at the Union Buildingsin Pretoria that Van Rooyen was his “comrade” and that “he's a trained financeand economic comrade and more qualified than any minister I have ever appointedin the finance issue”.

Zuma was speaking at the launch of the Presidential PressCorp (PPC).

In response the DA said that with 48 hours to go before themost important budget in more than 20 years, it was extremely unwise for Zumato try and defend his appointment of Van Rooyen as finance minister in 2015.

“The statement not only undermines the Minister of Finance,Pravin Gordhan, by suggesting that he is second best, but is likely to make hisjob more difficult by undermining investor confidence ahead of the tabling ofthe budget on February 24 2016 in Parliament,” DA Shadow Minister of FinanceDavid Maynier said in a statement.

In December, Zuma faced a backlash after he announced thathe was replacing finance minister Nhlanhla Nene with Van Rooyen, who was an ANCMP at the time.

There was a public outcry and calls for Zuma to be recalledover the move, which saw the rand reach record lows.

Four days after the announcement, Zuma backtracked,replacing Van Rooyen with Pravin Gordhan, a respected former finance minister.

The rand recovered somewhat.

Zuma on Monday said as president he took decisions, whichwas his constitutional right.
"They want to take decisions on behalf of the president, at timesincluding some in the media, not everyone," he said.

"You may not know why I took that decision, you mightget very good reasons why, but if you don't know you speculate on the basis ofwhat you see, when there might be very serious reasons," he said withoutgiving any further details.

The ANC on Friday replaced Van Rooyen with Hlomane Chauke onthe Standing Committee on Finance.

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