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Deputy president David Mabuza says President Cyril Ramaphosa has accepted his resignation as his second-in-command.

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

Mabuza said he had agreed with Ramaphosa that he must step down to allow newly elected ANC deputy president Paul Mashatile to take over.

Mashatile is being sworn in as an MP on Monday ahead of Ramaphosa’s imminent cabinet reshuffle.

“I have spoken to the president and told him I am stepping down. So I must also tell you, because this is my home, so that you are not surprised. You must hear it from me not from anyone else,” Mabuza said. 

“I think very soon the president will make that announcement that Mabuza has resigned. Him and I have agreed.”

Mabuza said he had always maintained he would respect Ramaphosa and his office which he believes he has done.

“I made a promise to you that I will respect the president until I leave office, so I am out and I hope those who remain in government will respect him,” said Mabuza

Mabuza said he approached Ramaphosa to inform him of his desire to vacate office after realising how restless Mashatile had become about moving into the Union Buildings since his election as ANC deputy president.

He claimed he held no grudges as it was inevitable that the incumbent at Luthuli House had to take over in government as well.

“Well logically, as the deputy president of the country I must step down to make space for the one that was elected by [ANC] conference because I see he has become a bit restless so I am also rushing to give him space,” said Mabuza.

TimesLIVE reported last week it had learnt there had been a series of engagements between Mabuza and Ramaphosa ahead of an imminent cabinet reshuffle.

Mabuza is said to have told Ramaphosa he wanted to resign to allow for a smooth transition in the government after the election of Mashatile as the ANC’s deputy president.

Mabuza told Ramaphosa he preferred for there to be alignment between leadership positions in the ANC and government.

“While there is no pronouncement by the president on any changes in the executive, the deputy president has, within the context of ANC leadership changes, taken a considered view that it is important to align party leadership roles with government responsibilities,” the office of the deputy president told TimesLIVE.

“To this end, he has engaged the president on his intention to resign to foster leadership synergies and cohesion both in the party and the state. The deputy president is awaiting a decision to that effect.”

TimesLIVE reported several members of the ANC's national executive committee (NEC), including those serving in Ramaphosa's cabinet, had insisted Mabuza had already resigned and not just communicated his intention to vacate office.

The insiders added Mabuza’s resignation letter had reached Ramaphosa’s office by Wednesday morning.

It was however agreed, according to insiders, on Wednesday that Mabuza’s resignation should not be announced until Mashatile has been sworn in as an MP, to allow him to take over as deputy president.

The president appoints his deputy from serving MPs.

“There’s nothing surprising really, DD has always said he wanted to leave. So I don’t think it’s shocking that we now find ourselves here,” said an NEC member close to the operation.


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