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Ramaphosa denies claims he colluded with billionaire Johann Rupert

Allegations suggest the deputy president colluded with Rupert to reverse Des Van Rooyen’s appointment.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has denied claims that he colluded with billionaire businessman Johann Rupert to reverse the appointment of Des Van Rooyen as finance minister.

In a statement released today, Ramaphosa says he has not discussed Cabinet appointments with Rupert or any other business person.

Allegations of such a meeting were made by The New Age newspaper, which claims former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and Maria Ramos were also involved in the talks.

The office of the deputy president says reports that he met with stakeholders in business to reverse Cabinet appointments are mischievous and misleading.

In December, President Jacob Zuma fired then Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, replacing him with Van Rooyen, who was also removed four days later.

Reports claim Ramaphosa and Rupert could have been behind Van Rooyen's short-lived tenure.

But the deputy president says the only time he had engagements relating to the finance department was shortly before the appointment of current Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

He says this meeting was called by the president along with the top six members of the African National Congress (ANC).

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