South African finance minister pulled from overseas tour

Minister of Finance Pravin

Gordhan told reporters shortly after landing at Johannesburg's global airport that he was focused on restoring faith in Africa's most industrialized economy and had met with about 50 investors while in London.

Zuma has made increasingly aggressive moves against his Finance Minister in recent months as Gordhan resists Zuma's plans to increase government spending as he attempts to avoid South African Bonds from being given "junk" status.

He and Treasury officials still do not know the reason for their sudden recall from their overseas roadshow, which has fuelled speculation of a dramatic political showdown.

South Africa's currency, the rand, had been gaining value in recent months, reaching a 20-month high on Monday morning as the economy recovered from near-zero growth past year. The order from the president to come back home re-ignited talks that Zuma would use his last ace and reshuffle his cabinet, doing away with his detractors.

"Zuma has instructed the Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, and Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas to cancel the worldwide investment promotion roadshow to the United Kingdom and the United States and return to South Africa immediately", a statement from the president's office said.

Traders said the rand was gaining on the back of a report in the Mail & Guardian weekly that three of the six top leaders in the ruling ANC party were backing Gordhan.

In December 2015, Zuma unexpectedly sacked finance minister Nhlanhla Nene and replaced him with an obscure lawmaker, triggering panic among investors and a sharp drop in the rand.

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South Africa's currency took a big hit Monday after the president ordered his finance minister to cancel his global investment roadshow.

TVC's Vauldi Carelse reports that President Jacob Zuma is not saying - at least not publicly.

An embattled but defiant Pravin Gordhan had a message for South Africa yesterday: "I am still finance minister".

Speculation that former African Union Commission head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will be appointed to the cabinet intensified when she was spotted leaving Luthuli House.

And he's fallen out with Zuma, because he refuses to play ball with the Guptas - close friends of the president.

In its affidavit supporting Gordhan's application, Standard Bank asked the court to prevent the government from further intervening in its decision to terminate its relations with Gupta-owned companies.

Gordhan argues it is inappropriate for the finance minister to get involved between a bank and its clients and has asked the High Court to rule that he has no power to interfere in the banks' decisions.

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