I support Zuma, says Ramaphosa
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