South Africa

Ramaphosa denies plot to oust Mashatile as Deputy President

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said there are no plans to remove his deputy, Paul Mashatile, who told a Sunday newspaper there was a plot to oust him by August.

Ramaphosa said he’d spoken to Mashatile since his comments were published by the Johannesburg-based City Press newspaper and assured him there was no conspiracy being hatched against him.

“I immediately said to him: ‘I appointed you, and I am the only person that can de-appoint you,’” Ramaphosa told reporters after a meeting of the governing African National Congress’s top leaders on Sunday.

“There’s just no thought, no plan, no inkling whatsoever that something like that is in the works.”

Ramaphosa appointed Mashatile, 61, to the government post in March, four months after he was elected as the ANC’s deputy president.

Some of Ramaphosa’s allies sought to convince him to ignore an ANC tradition of appointing the party’s deputy as his second in command because they were concerned Mashatile might use his position to try and dislodge the president from power.

Mashatile told City Press he was aware that some people tried to block his appointment as deputy president, though he didn’t identify them.

Ramaphosa insisted that would only be able to replace Mashatile if there was a party decision to take such an action.


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