Firing South Africa's Gordhan would 'destroy economy': Manuel

August 24, 2016 12:09 PM EDT

South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan looks on during a media briefing in Sandton near Johannesburg, South Africa March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File photo

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's economy, the most developed on the continent, will be destroyed if President Jacob Zuma fires Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, ex-finance minister Trevor Manuel said on Wednesday.

The Hawks police unit asked Gordhan and other former officials at the South African Revenue Service to report on Thursday in relation to contravention of surveillance regulations, fuelling speculation of a plot to oust him.

"Such action (firing Gordhan) will destroy this economy," Manuel told ENCA television. "The next move is actually up to the head of state to call them (Hawks) in and say: if you have compelling evidence let's see what it is."

(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; writing by Joe Brock; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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