'Cheers DP, thank you for your unwavering support': Ramaphosa bids David Mabuza farewell

Amanda Khoza Presidency reporter
President Cyril Ramaphosa and his deputy David Mabuza. File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and his deputy David Mabuza. File photo.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu.

Raising a glass of water and looking directly at his deputy president David Mabuza, President Cyril Rampahosa said, “DP, cheers.”

This is how Ramaphosa bid farewell to his second in command who has indicated and communicated his intention to resign as the deputy president of the country to make way for ANC deputy president Paul Mashatile.

“I wish to extend my appreciation to deputy president David Dabede Mabuza who has given me his unwavering support over the last five years,” said Ramaphosa to a round of applause.

Ramaphosa was responding to members of parliament who debated his state of the nation address this week. In his concluding remarks, Ramaphosa decided to pay tribute to Mabuza “for what he had done for the country.”

“Not only has he given me support as the president, he has been working side by side with me these past five years and has executed the tasks that I allocated to him.

“Tasks such as heading the South African National AIDS Council and the extensive engagements with military veterans and traditional leaders. The job and tasks that he has had in engaging with traditional leaders throughout the country on critical issues such as communal land and also, their ability to execute their work as an important structure in the state.”

Mabuza, he told a joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces, has supported peace building efforts in South Sudan and led processes around land reform, among other things.

“Deputy president Mabuza has indicated his wish to step down from his position, I have informed him, that I am attending to and considering and I would like to thank him for the work that he has done for this nation and for all of us.”

Signalling that he will be reshuffling his cabinet soon, Ramaphosa also thanked all of his ministers, their deputies, premiers, government employees and his protectors.

The Sunday Times reported that there was growing frustration in the ANC and the government at Ramaphosa’s dithering about a cabinet reshuffle. 

Ramaphosa was expected to reshuffle his cabinet after the swearing-in of new ANC MPs — including Mashatile.

However, Ramaphosa is said to have opted to delay the much-anticipated cabinet rejig

Mabuza, told mourners at a funeral service in Mpumalanga that Ramaphosa would soon inform the country he is stepping down.

He said he had agreed with Ramaphosa that he must step down to allow Mashatile to take over.

Turning his focus to other officials Ranaphosa said: “I also wish to extend my thanks to all ministers and deputy ministers that I am privileged to work with. I thank them for the outstanding work that they do in the service of our country. I also wish to thank the premiers of our country all nine premiers, from the Western Cape right through to Limpopo.”

“At the very least, almost two to three times a year, we hold our presidential coordinating council (PCC) meeting and we exchange views on a number of issues and I have always found our premiers to be very creative, energetic and full of ideas such as to write letters to me to say, ‘President please declare a state of disaster,” he quipped and chuckled about Western Cape premier Alan Winde.

He further said, “I would also like to extend my gratitude to the director generals and deputy director generals who are the real engine of our government. I would like to thank them together with a number of other officials in our government from the cleaners, gardeners and all the way to the top.”

Ramaphosa also thanked his advisors and the staff in the presidency for their hard work.

“I’d like to thank my protectors as well,” he said chuckling. A journalist asked me over the weekend whether I was terrified or scared and I said, no I wasn’t and it was largely due to the fact that I have really good protectors and I thank them.”

He was referring to when the EFF stormed the stage during Ramaphosa's Sona speech last Thursday .

Ramaphosa's protectors, including members of the counter-assault team, and parliamentary security intervened to protect Ramaphosa.


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