Ramaphosa says he is firmly opposed to Gordhan’s removal

Ramaphosa says that when President Zuma met with the ANC's top six earlier, he arrived with a pre-prepared list and was not necessarily consulting with senior members of the ANC.

FILE: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has made it clear that he remains firmly opposed to former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s axing.

Ramaphosa says that when President Jacob Zuma met with the ANC's top six earlier this week, he arrived with a pre-prepared list and was not necessarily consulting with senior members of the ANC.

"He met with ANC officials. It was just a process of informing us of his decision. It was not a consultation because he came with a ready made list."

Ramaphosa says he does not support Zuma's decision to fire Gordhan.

"I raised my concern and objection on the removal of the Minister of Finance, largely because he was being removed based on an intelligence report that I believe had unsubstantiated allegations."

The deputy president he will stay in his position to serve the people but also makes it clear that the president has the right to change his Cabinet and fire and hire ministers.

African National Congress (ANC) Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu says he disagrees with the removal of Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas and allegations that they would sell their souls and country to foreign forces are "plain rubbish".

Former Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi says he's relieved that he was removed from office and the country is at a crossroads.

Gordhan and Jonas were among 20 ministers and deputies fired by President Jacob Zuma in a Cabinet reshuffle.

In a late-night move on Thursday, President Jacob Zuma released a statement saying that he had decided to make changes to the National Executive in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has also expressed his dissatisfaction, saying he is not happy with the president’s decision.

“We were given a list that was complete and my own view as the Secretary-General, I felt like this list has been developed somewhere else and it’s given to us to legitimise it.

“And my own view is that I’m very uncomfortable because areas where ministers do not perform have not been touched. Ministers have been moved and the majority of them were good performing ministers. I’m very much uncomfortable with it.”

But the ANC Women's League says the president has made a bold move toward radical socio-economic transformation.

And government has released a statement saying it's confident the new ministers and their deputies will work tirelessly, and move the country towards an upwards trajectory.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)