Ramaphosa denies meeting business tycoons over Van Rooyen appointment

2016-03-26 10:50
Cyril Ramaphosa. (City Press)

Cyril Ramaphosa. (City Press)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday dismissed allegations that he had met with business leaders to discuss cabinet appointments.

In a statement, Ramaphosa's office said he categorically denied that he had ever met with Johann Rupert, Trevor Manuel and Maria Ramos to discuss the appointment of Des van Rooyen as finance minister.

"The only time Deputy President Ramaphosa engaged himself with the matter of the finance ministry was during the meeting of the top six ANC officials with President Jacob Zuma on the Sunday leading to the appointment of Pravin Gordhan as the finance minister," Ramaphosa's office said.

Media reports this week suggested that Rupert had flown out from London to persuade Ramaphosa and other powerful business leaders to oppose the appointment of Van Rooyen as Finance Minister. 

Van Rooyen was appointed by President Jacob Zuma to take over the position following the removal of Nhlanhla Nene in December. Zuma removed Van Rooyen from the post a few days later and put Gordhan in his place.

The meeting in question between Ramaphosa and Rupert was reportedly brought to light by Zuma during the ANC's national executive meeting last week. 

Zuma reportedly made allegations that there were business-influenced leaders within the party. He claimed that there was an ANC leader who had met with Rupert and was advised to influence the reversal of Van Rooyen's appointment.

Although Zuma did not name anyone while making the allegations, Gupta-owned newspaper The New Age, published similar claims against Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa's office said the suggestions that he had met with business tycoons to discuss the reversal of Zuma's decision to appoint Van Rooyen were "wholly incorrect, mischievous and misleading".

The deputy president's office said: "...It is unfortunate that those who peddled these falsehoods did not find it within their obligation to verify the facts with the office of the Deputy President before setting on publishing the story.

"It is our conviction that those who published these untruths will find it within their conviction to place correct facts at the disposal of the public."

Speaking to Netwerk24, Rupert, who is the chairman of the Swiss-based luxury-goods company Richemont and South Africa-based company Remgro, denied ever meeting with Ramaphosa over Van Rooyen's appointment.

He said that although he had been in the country at the time, he was attending a graduation ceremony at the University of Stellenbosch. 

Netwerk24 reported that Rupert had instead called for Zuma to resign and criticised the ANC for failing to take action against him. 

Read more on:    cyril rama­phosa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.