Minister of basic education Angie Motshekga has been appointed acting president while President Cyril Ramaphosa travels to Japan to support the Springboks at the Rugby World Cup final against England on Saturday.
This is because Ramaphosa’s deputy, David Mabuza, is in China, chairing talks between the two governments.
Motshekga’s acting position will last from Friday until Sunday.
In a statement on Thursday, presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said Ramaphosa will leave today for Yokohama, to lead the nation’s support for the Springboks.
“The President will lend his support to the Springboks and supporters of the national team in terms of his constitutionally assigned role of 'promoting the unity of the nation and that which will advance the Republic',” she said.
In a video call with Springbok captain Siya Kolisi before the semifinal match against Wales on Sunday, Ramaphosa said he was going to the final to lift the trophy.
The Boks beat Wales 19-16.
“I'm coming to the final, I'm coming to lift the Webb Ellis trophy with you. So make sure you book my ticket to the final,” Ramaphosa said.
“The final is a repeat of the 2007 tournament in France, where these two sides also squared off in the most important encounter of the Rugby World Cup,” Diko said.
South Africa won that game 15-6.