Bloemfontein - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is very unhappy about the firing of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, when President Jacob Zuma reshuffled his Cabinet with a predetermined list without consulting him, Netwerk24 reported.
Ramaphosa was in Bloemfontein on Friday to launch the National Strategic Plan on HIV, TB and STIs.
The media bombarded him as he arrived late at Pelonomi Hospital for the launch of the multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) 9-month regimen.
“I am especially unhappy about the firing of Gordhan and his deputy, to which the financial markets will react negatively. I think it is totally unacceptable that he fired someone like Gordhan, who has served the country excellently, for his own gain and survival,” he said.
“I find it very difficult to believe that someone like Gordhan, who has served the country with everything he has and so much pride and total honour, planned to besmirch Zuma and his government overseas. The actions Zuma has against Gordhan is based solely on assumptions.”
'I will stay to serve the people'
Ramaphosa said he was reminded of the conspiracy against him in 2001 while in former president Thabo Mbeki’s government. It was at that stage that former president Nelson Mandela told him not to become anxious.
The deputy president said he had already expressed his dissatisfaction to Zuma. “I also told him I was going to express my unhappiness to the public at large.”
He added that the president has the right to reshuffle his Cabinet and exercise his own choices.
On the question of whether he will resign, Ramaphosa answered: “No. I will stay to serve the people. I know there are many of my colleagues and friends who are also unhappy.
“What just happened is an absolute upset – to get rid of a man with great capabilities, an intelligent man who served his country and his people well, in such an unsolicited and unexpected manner.”