Cyril Ramaphosa puts on a brave face amid axing rumours

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has been openly critical of the latest Cabinet reshuffle —the 11th since President Jacob Zuma assumed office in 2009 — amid rumours that the president is planning to fire him in the run up to the ANC’s elective conference in December.

In an address to the North West Chamber on Saturday, the deputy president commented on the Cabinet reshuffle, saying: “In the recent past when the cabinet was reshuffled, that in itself introduced instability”.

“Instability in the sense that the ministers who were reshuffled had just been in their positions for a few months. Now, they are in new positions and have to learn the workings of new departments.”

This critique comes after Ramaphosa was asked by Economic Freedom Fighters MP Floyd Shivambu in Parliament on Thursday, whether the deputy president was also about to become a victim of a Cabinet reshuffle.

In response to Shivambu’s question, Ramaphosa said he could not speculate on rumours.

“And if the decision is to remove me, I will accept that as a decision that will have been taken by the president.”

Ramaphosa further went on to say that: “I will continue serving the people of South Africa in one form, shape or another” even if President Zuma fires him.

Ramaphosa’s presidential campaign lobbyists told City Press that they believe that he will be removed in order to make way for the appointment of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma so that she can establish a commission of inquiry into state capture.

President Zuma is said to be under pressure to appoint an inquiry into state capture but because of his position and how he is heavily implicated in state capture and corruption allegations, he will have to leave the appointment of the commission in the hands of his deputy.

A lobbyist on Ramaphosa’s team says that the president “does not trust Cyril with the appointment of the judge [of the state capture commission] and the terms of reference. They want the commission to be like the arms deal, which dragged on forever. Witnesses were frustrated and there was no real outcome”.

Presidency spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga has said that rumours of Ramaphosa’s possible reshuffle are “rumours and pure gossip” and he maintained that the presidency would not respond to these allegations.

Regarding the commission that will probe state capture, Ngqulunga said that: “The Constitution clearly stipulates that only the president has the power to appoint commissions of inquiry, as stipulated in section 84.

“President Zuma has stated on numerous occasions that he intends to appoint the commission to investigate allegations of state capture and corruption.

“It is a constitutional responsibility he will not, and cannot, delegate to anybody. He will definitely appoint the commission personally.”

On Tuesday, Ramaphosa’s confidant, veteran unionist James Motlatsi, said the president was about to remove the deputy president by using an intelligence report showing he was a “spy” for western capitalists.

According to Motlatsi, Zuma’s lobbyists were campaigning by tainting Ramaphosa’s image, claiming that “he is a CIA and MI5 spy, and that if he is elected, he will sell the country to Western capitalists.

“Let what has to happen, happen. But it [Ramaphosa being axed] will intensify his campaign. The sooner they remove him, the better for him, for the ANC and for the country.” 

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

False dawn gives Ace all the cards

The unrepentant, recalcitrant ANC secretary general thinks it’s okay for his and other wayward comrades’ kids to loot

Editorial: The public has a right to know

Transparency and accountability have lost currency in the treasury, and we are all the poorer for it.

As opposition mounts, Zimbabwe’s president lashes out

Emmerson Mnangagwa has accused ‘dark forces’ of destabilising the country

ANC still at odds over how to tackle leaders facing serious graft allegations

The ANC’s top six has been mandated to work closely with its integrity committee to tackle claims of corruption against senior party members

There are useful lessons to learn from the generation of the 1986 emergency

The parents of the 2020 crisis have little say about their children’s education

‘I will have to repeat grade 8’

Schools have been closed again. After months of doing schoolwork at home, not all parents think their children are ready to move to the next grade

New education policy on gender violence released

Universities and other higher education institutions have to develop ways of preventing or dealing with rape and other damaging behaviour

Cambridge Food Jozini: Pandemic or not, the price-gouging continues

The Competition Commission has fined Cambridge Food Jozini for hiking the price of its maize meal during April

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday