David Mabuza and Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI
David Mabuza and Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI

President Cyril Ramaphosa could possibly be removed as head of state soon, EFF leader Julius Malema said on Tuesday. 

Malema told reporters at a briefing in Johannesburg to expect deputy president David Mabuza to lead the country. 

“Things are not looking good. As things stand [Ramaphosa] may not finish  his term. If the man goes down, you may have to prepare yourself for a man called DD Mabuza,” said Malema. “SA, I have never lied to you, there’s something coming there, the president is in trouble.”

Malema accused the DA and its leader Mmusi Maimane of putting Ramaphosa into trouble with public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Mkhwebane is investigating whether Ramaphosa breached the Executive Members’ Ethics Act by misleading parliament over the R500,000 donation he received from Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson for his campaign to become ANC president in December 2017.

Late last month, Ramaphosa announced that he had responded to Mkhwebane’s findings that he was implicated in her probe.

Maimane lodged a complaint with Mkhwebane late last year after Ramaphosa initially told parliament that the R500,000 payment to an account used to manage his campaign donations was, in fact, a consultancy payment from Bosasa to his son, Andile. Days later he wrote to then speaker Baleka Mbete and admitted he was wrong, and that the money was actually a donation to his election campaign.

“[The DA] has put the president in trouble, now they want to take him out of trouble, it’s too late,” said a chuckling Malema, adding that “the president has to come clean”.

He also criticised Ramaphosa for allegedly dragging his feet in taking disciplinary steps against public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, in line with Mkhwebane’s recommendations.

In June, Mkhwebane found that Gordhan wrongfully approved the early retirement of then deputy commissioner of Sars, Ivan Pillay, in 2010. Her report made legally binding recommendations to Ramaphosa to take disciplinary action against Gordhan.

However, since Gordhan has challenged Mkhwebane’s findings in court, Ramaphosa has refrained from taking any action against the minister. This spurred Mkhwebane to accuse Ramaphosa of failing to uphold the constitution, saying he is not complying with her remedial action.

Malema said Ramaphosa was quick to fire former Sars commissioner Tom Moyane, and National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) former senior officials Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi on the basis of what he described as “mere recommendations” of commissions of inquiry.

Last month, the General Council of the Bar lost its bid at the Constitutional Court to have Jiba and Mrwebi , who are embroiled in state-capture allegations, struck from the roll of advocates.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) had earlier ruled in favour of Jiba and Mrwebi, overturning a ruling by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that had ordered they be struck from the roll of advocates.

mkentanel@businesslive.co.za