Mr Gordhan's old portfolio was handed to former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba, a man who has been a steadfast Zuma loyalist since the president first took office in 2009.
ANC Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize on Saturday joined Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe in questioning the manner in which the cabinet changes were handled.
Mkhize though congratulated the new cabinet ministers, and the "introduction of younger generation of leaders to the national executive is well acknowledged".
Critics of Zuma say he has long wanted to replace Gordhan with someone who might be more pliant in heading the treasury and have voiced concern that the change might exacerbate corruption. South Africa now has a zero-growth GDP, a decreasing tax base and an unemployment rate of 26.5 percent.
Gigaba, though, said he was committed to protecting South Africa's cherished investment-grade credit ratings, which analysts have said are threatened after Gordhan's removal.
Frustration has been growing with Zuma after numerous allegations of corruption.
Zuma retains widespread support from ANC members in some rural areas and has been able to rely on the party's majority in parliament to survive several votes of no confidence.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opposition party applied to the country's highest court on Thursday to order parliament to begin impeachment proceedings against the president for lying to the legislative body.
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Zuma was barred from attending the funeral of anti-apartheid hero Ahmed Kathrada on Wednesday after the latter had asked him to resign previous year following a series of corruption scandals against him.
It was the period of turmoil that hammered South Africa's markets and currency, but Gordhan helped stabilise the situation.
Thursday night's sacking shook markets and divided the ruling party. Zuma clearly went against the wishes of senior party members, allies, business leaders and opposition parties.
Some placards called Zuma a "tsotsi", a South African slang word for "criminal". South Africa's highest court past year found that Zuma had violated his oath of office by refusing to abide by an order to pay back some of the millions of dollars in public money spent on upgrading his rural home.
The sacking of Gordhan, seen as a steady and reliable hand in policymaking by investors, came as part of a wider cabinet reshuffle, the latest chapter exposing deepening rifts and divisions within the government of Africa's most industrialised economy.
The South African Communist Party has dropped a bombshell on its alliance partner the African National Congress, calling on the governing party to choose between the country and the wealthy, politically-connected Gupta family.
"I have directed the new ministers and deputy ministers to work tirelessly with their colleagues.to ensure that the promise of a better life for the poor and the working class becomes a reality", President Zuma's said in a statement.
Zuma's term is due to end in 2019, but the party's unpopularity extends beyond his leadership.