S.Africa deputy president says cabinet purge ‘unacceptable’
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa launched a stinging verbal attack on President Jacob Zuma on Friday, criticising a cabinet purge in which the respected finance minister was sacked.
“I am told him that I would not agree with him on his reasoning to remove the minister of finance. And I am told him that this I would articulate publicly,” Ramaphosa told reporters.
“There are quite a number of other colleagues and comrades who are unhappy about this situation, particularly the removal of the minister of finance who was serving the country with absolute distinction.”
Gordhan was reportedly sacked because of an alleged intelligence report into meetings he held in London earlier this week.
“For him to be removed for this type of reasoning is to me unacceptable,” Ramaphosa said.
Zuma made 20 new government appointments after a dramatic overnight cull that sent the rand currency plunging and triggered accusations that he was promoting corruption.
“The president has the prerogative to appoint and dimiss ministers of his cabinet,” Ramaphosa said. “It is his choice and he has exercised his choice.”
Gordhan had been at loggerheads with Zuma for months, receiving public support from several ministers and foreign investors, as well as many ordinary South Africans and veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle.