Ramaphosa: I could have been fired for going against Zuma
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.
JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa says his most trying moment in leadership was when he broke ranks with former President Jacob Zuma following the abrupt dismissal of Pravin Gordhan as Finance Minister in 2017.
Speaking at a public engagement that was initially touted as a conversation with white South Africans in Sandton on Thursday, the president said that he could have been fired for going against his predecessor.
Gordhan was recalled from an investment roadshow overseas before he was fired and replaced by Malusi Gigaba.
At the time, it was said that Zuma made the decision based on information from an intelligence report claiming that Gordhan was part of a covert operation working against the country's interests.
Ramaphosa said that 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.
“There was another occasion when another report, which I believe was false, was being used to remove Pravin Gordhan. The decision that I then had to make was whether I keep quiet about something that I truly believed was incorrect and then I spoke out. That was a difficult decision.”
WATCH: 'I broke ranks with my president': Ramaphosa’s toughest leadership moment
(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)