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Ramaphosa assures nation all is well - talks with Zuma over early exit ongoing

By Afikile Lugunya - Feb 7, 2018
Ramaphosa assures nation all is well - talks with Zuma over early exit ongoing

With the drama - or more of political uncertainty prevailing in the country, Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday sought to re-assure anxious South Africans and investors, that government is still functioning even as he negotiates with President Jacob Zuma over a possible resignation.

Ramaphosa, who is the African National Congress (ANC) President, and best placed to succeed Zuma following his victory at the party's National Elective Conference in December, released a statement about a meeting he had on Tuesday night with Zuma and said that rumours of a plot to fire him were untrue.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) on Tuesday had announced that it had received indications of a plot to ouster Ramaphosa from being Deputy President and replace him with Zuma's ex-wife, Dr Nkosazan Dlamini-Zuma, whom Ramaphosa beat in the ANC's succession race.

Ramaphosa admitted to discussions over Zuma’s future as the President of the Republic and said that they were constructive and lay basic for speedy resolution of the matter in the interest of the country and the people, who live in it.

“I am aware that the uncertainty surrounding the position of the Head of State and Government is a cause for concern among many South Africans.

"This is understandable. However, I am certain that the process we have now embarked on will achieve an outcome that not only addresses these concerns, but also unites our people around the tasks that all of us must necessarily undertake to build our country," he said.

"We will be able to communicate further on President Zuma’s position as President of the Republic once we have finalised all pertinent matters.”

He said that a special meeting that was planned for late on Wednesday between the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) to discuss the outcomes of the meeting has been postponed to allow for a continuation of the discussions with Zuma.

A conclusion of the discussions is expected in the next coming days.

Ramaphosa said that the work of government and Parliament will continue as normal despite the postponement of the 2018 State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“This is a challenging time for our country. Both President Zuma and myself are aware that our people want and deserve closure. The constructive process we have embarked on offers the greatest opportunity to conclude this matter without discord or division," he described.

“Throughout this process, I am guided by the principle that the interests and needs of the South African people are paramount.”