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Zuma, Gordhan & doing things right: Ramaphosa’s most difficult leadership moment

Speaking at a public engagement in Sandton on Thursday, the president said he could have been fired for going against his predecessor, Jacob Zuma.

Former president Jacob Zuma and President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa says his most trying moment in leadership was when he broke rank with former president Jacob Zuma following the abrupt dismissal of Pravin Gordhan as finance minister in 2017.

Speaking at a public engagement in Sandton on Thursday, the president said he could have been fired for going against his predecessor.

“Here was another occasion when another report, which I believe was false, was being used to remove Pravin Gordhan. The decision I then had to make was whether to keep quiet about something I truly believed was truly incorrect. But then I broke ranks and spoke out. It was a difficult decision.”

Gordhan was recalled from an investment roadshow overseas before he was fired and replaced by Malusi Gigaba.

At the time it was widely believed that Zuma made the decision based on information derived from an intelligence report, which claimed Gordhan was part of a covert operation working against the country’s interests.

Zuma did not share the reasons for the decision with the nation.

Ramaphosa said the allegations related to the intelligence report reminded him of his own pain when he was accused of trying to overthrow former president Thabo Mbeki.

WATCH: Motlanthe: ANC needs to lose elections to reflect

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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