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‘It’s time for SA to move forward’

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says all have to be involved in moving the country forward.

FILE: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says everts of the past few weeks have been a concern but processes are underway to put these matters to rest.

He has been answering questions in Parliament and was asked about the impact of political infighting on investment.

Ramaphosa says all have to be involved in moving the country forward.

He says certain monopolies are also a problem.

"This was also identified by the representative of the IMF. A few weeks ago, he said the role monopolies play in the South African economy impede growth and that should be the issue that we are focussing on."

The Deputy President says processes are underway to ensure that tensions at upper levels of government are being resolved.

But Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has demanded to know if tensions involving Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan are being resolved.

"What I want to know is what are you going to do to ensure that this war can be put to bed. Because surely, we can't continue on an economic climate such as this one."

Ramaphosa replied by saying moves are underway to resolve tensions.

"It is the statements that also exacerbate the situation and we'd like to believe the process that are underway to deal with this matter, will put this matter to bed and we will be able to proceed forward in a way where there is decorum."

Meanwhile, lawyers representing Gordhan say they are shocked that the Hawks did not have the courtesy to inform the finance minister that he is a suspect in their investigation.

The Hawks are investigating a covert unit set up at Sars when Gordhan headed the organisation.

Gordhan declined to obey a demand from the Hawks to provide a warning statement, saying he believed the unit was trying to intimidate him despite his efforts to provide answers and information.

Today, the minister's lawyers issued a statement to clarify that Gordhan is not above the law and has cooperated fully.

Lawyer Tebogo Malatji says they were assured by the head of the Hawks Berning Ntlemeza that Gordhan was not a suspect.

"We are still taken back by the fact that nobody had the courtesy to tell us at some point in time that he is now no longer a person providing assistance but he is a suspect. So I think those are worrying features of the way in which this matter was handled."

Click here to watch Cyril Ramaphosa's Q&A session in Parliament.

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