Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini. Picture: NEO GOBA.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini. Picture: NEO GOBA.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini has downplayed claims that a plan is being hatched to remove Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in order to destabilise the country and cause chaos ahead of the ANC’s elective conference.

Dlamini told TimesLIVE that Bheki Cele was not talking from a point of authority because the information he had highlighted was based on an SMS that was circulating on social media.

"Those are things we should not take seriously. There are people who are information peddlers with the intention to further destabilise the ANC and the country. I don’t take such SMS communication seriously‚" said Dlamini.

He said he had not personally seen the SMS.

Cele told a gathering of shop stewards at a KwaZulu-Natal council meeting on Sunday that he had seen a text message that outlined plans to remove Ramaphosa‚ EWN reported.

Ramaphosa is one of the front-runners in the ANC leadership race.

Cele said the aim of the anti-Ramaphosa plot was to stop the elective conference from going ahead in December and to delay it to 2018. He warned that there could be an escalation of the current political assassinations that have predominantly been taking place in the province.

Cele‚ a member of the ANC’s national executive committee‚ did not know who had circulated the message.

Ramaphosa’s image took a knock last week after allegations about extramarital affairs were circulated. He told Parliament last week that he would address these personal issues within a few days.

Since then reports of a looming Cabinet reshuffle have emerged. The Sunday Times reported that President Jacob Zuma may replace Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

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