He was greeted by hundreds of cheering and applauding staff members who banged on tables as he entered.
Here are the top seven quotes from the much-loved Pravin Gordhan in his final address as finance minister:
1) Both of us [fired deputy Mcebisi Jonas] “are adamant that institutions that fall under the ministry of finance must serve the people and not narrow interests”.
2) Asked about his relationship with Zuma‚ he said he wanted to have a cup of tea with the president. “I have known him [Zuma] since 1974 . There have always been constructive engagements between myself‚ Zuma and treasury … I hope to visit him soon and have a cup of tea and talk about things we have a mutual interest in.”
3) “We hope more and more South Africans will make it clear that our country is not for sale‚” he said. “Our souls are not for sale” he said of himself and his axed deputy Mcebisi Jonas.
4) Gordhan on ANN7 constantly attacking him and making what he called false allegations: “Why do you attack family members. Play fair. Be transparent. We have nothing to hide?”
5) He told citizens to be active. “Organise‚ Organise‚” Gordhan then he apologised jokingly for the “political lesson”
6) “I have congratulated Malusi Gigaba.” He said would meet with Gigaba soon to ensure a smooth takeover process.
7) When someone almost fell off a chair during the live press conference‚ he showed his humour was still intact. “Watch it Watch it. The ministry of finance has a history of chairs collapsing.” (Before he was finance minister‚ Nhlanhla Nene chair’s collapsed and he disappeared off screen on a live interview on the SABC).
Watch the moment Gordhan held up the intelligence report that got him fired: