Amid rumours that he might be given the boot from Cabinet soon, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday told MPs that should President Jacob Zuma decide to remove him from his post, he would accept it, as it was the president’s prerogative to hire and fire members of his executive team.
“In relation to these statements that have been made about my removal, I must tell you that when I was appointed deputy president, I accepted the appointment because it is the president’s prerogative to appoint and to remove anybody on the executive,” Ramaphosa said.
“And if the decision is to remove me, I will accept that as a decision that would have been taken by the president, and I will continue serving the people of South Africa in one form, shape or another.
“That’s all I can say on this matter.”
Ramaphosa was responding to a question in the National Assembly from EFF MP Floyd Shivambu, who wanted clarity on reports that the deputy president’s days at the Union Buildings were numbered following Tuesday’s surprise Cabinet reshuffle effected by Zuma.
“Are you going to be removed as deputy president because your friend says you are going to be removed very soon? It might be this week or tomorrow, please clarify that,” asked Shivambu.
On Tuesday, Ramaphosa’s close confidant, James Motlatsi, told eNCA Zuma intended to use yet another intelligence report to justify the axing of the deputy president from the executive.
It has been widely reported that Zuma used a “bogus” intelligence report to remove Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas during this year’s first Cabinet reshuffle on March 30.
The report claimed the former finance ministers were plotting with western forces to overthrow the government.
“Let me say to you, unconfirmed reports are saying that [this will happen] very soon. This issue, Cyril even raised it in a meeting.
“We have been told by other people that the president himself, he is saying Cyril is a spy of western capitalists, so we are waiting for that intelligence report to come out for him,” Motlatsi told the broadcaster.