The Black First Land First (BLF) movement has launched an online petition calling for the sacking of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.
BLF said on Monday that removing Gordhan as minister would end load shedding. It also accused him of misleading President Cyril Ramaphosa that there would be no load shedding before 13 January.
On the petition’s page on Change.org, BLF wrote, “Load shedding can be stopped, but Minister Gordhan cannot lead such a process because he is conflicted. For load shedding to end, Pravin Gordhan must go.”
Matshela Koko, Brian Molefe can end load shedding
The movement also said former Eskom board chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane, CEO Brian Molefe and acting CEO Matshela Koko can end load shedding.
“There are competent and tested South Africans who can end load shedding again, namely Dr Ben Ngubane, Brian Molefe and Matshela Koko, but they won’t be asked to come and rescue Eskom because Gordhan considers these patriots as his opponents,” BLF wrote.
In an article published on his blog blackopinion.co.za on Monday, BLF leader Andile Mngxitama said he expects more than 10,000 people to sign the petition.
He added that “tables will be organised in public places across the country to gather and process names for the petition, which will ultimately be sent to President Ramaphosa.”
EFF threatens to disrupt SONA
More than 700 people had signed the petition by Monday afternoon. BLF’s call for Ramaphosa to fire Gordhan follows similar calls by labour federation Cosatu and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
They came after Deputy President David Mabuza claimed last week that Gordhan and the Eskom board had misled Ramaphosa.
EFF leader Julius Malema on Sunday threatened to disrupt February’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) if Ramaphosa does not fire Gordhan.
He said, “I want to tell Cyril Ramaphosa today that if he can’t fire Pravin before the State of the Nation Address, the State of the Nation Address shall be about Pravin. We will stand up there. We will stop him from speaking.”
Speaking to BusinessLIVE on Sunday, Gordhan said his fate as minister lies in the hands of Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa told SABC News on Saturday that taking action against Gordhan was not his immediate priority at the moment.
“We need to focus on how we can deal with the Eskom problem and reposition it. That, for me, is the priority. Other matters are matters that we need to focus on at a later stage,” the President said.