I sup­port Zuma, says Ramaphosa

CityPress - - Front Page - SE­TUMO STONE se­tumo.stone@city­press.co.za

Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa yes­ter­day pledged sol­i­dar­ity with Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s eco­nom­i­cally costly de­ci­sion to chop and change two fi­nance min­is­ters in four days.

It was ru­moured in ANC cir­cles that Ramaphosa had strongly op­posed Zuma’s de­ci­sion to re­move Nh­lanhla Nene as fi­nance min­is­ter on De­cem­ber 9 and re­place him with lit­tle-known David “Des” van Rooyen.

Ramaphosa, who is well re­spected in busi­ness cir­cles, said “ru­mours” that he had threat­ened to re­sign in protest over Zuma’s Cabi­net reshuf­fle were “ab­so­lute rub­bish”.

“Ru­mours that I threat­ened to re­sign, or any­one else threat­ened to re­sign, are not true. We are to­gether with the pres­i­dent on this is­sue,” he told jour­nal­ists dur­ing an ANC door-to-door cam­paign in Mmakau, about 50km north­west of Pre­to­ria.

He said the ANC was “work­ing to­gether” and the party was “united in deal­ing with all these chal­lenges”.

“We have ad­dressed the chal­lenges that we face,” said Ramaphosa.

As deputy pres­i­dent of the ANC, Ramaphosa is ex­pected to suc­ceed Zuma, but a strong lobby has emerged from within the party in sup­port of a fe­male pres­i­dent.

North West ANC chair­per­son Supra Mahumapelo, who is part of the lobby in sup­port of a fe­male pres­i­dent and who spoke in de­fence of Zuma in the week af­ter the Cabi­net bun­gle, was con­spic­u­ous by his ab­sence at Ramaphosa’s walk­a­bout yes­ter­day.

North West ANC sec­re­tary Dakota Le­goete said Mahumapelo could not ac­com­pany Ramaphosa be­cause he was “in­volved in the an­nual SOR Mahumapelo Foun­da­tion event” at his home vil­lage of Manamolela in De­lareyville, North West.

Dur­ing his door-to-door vis­its, Ramaphosa re­ceived hugs, self­ies and an in­vi­ta­tion to a 58th birth­day party.

The walk­a­bout was aimed at gar­ner­ing sup­port for the ANC in next year’s mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions.

He also handed out green ANC-branded caps and yel­low T-shirts bear­ing the im­age of Zuma’s face.

He told a young woman who was com­plain­ing about un­em­ploy­ment that the coun­try had cre­ated 17 000 jobs last month, but that these were still not enough.

ANC faith­ful, page 2

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