How Gordhan's dismissal tested my judgement – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that the removal of then finance minister Pravin Gordhan by his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, was a time which tested his judgement.
During a dialogue with the white community in Sandton on Thursday night, Ramaphosa was asked when his judgement was ever tested.
He told the room filled with white business people that Gordhan was removed as a finance minister because of what he believed was a false intelligence report.
This, he said, forced him to break ranks with Zuma and speak out against the axing of Gordhan at the risk of being fired.
"I then remembered my own situation when some intelligence report said I was plotting to depose Thabo Mbeki's government. That really troubled me because that report was false and here was a situation of another report, which I believed was false, used to remove Gordhan."
He said he had to make a choice to either be quiet or speak up about something he believed was incorrect.
"I broke ranks against the president's decision and I could have been fired because doing so could have meant I would have been fired."
Ramaphosa said the rest of the top six also agreed with him and spoke out against that decision. Gordhan was removed as finance minister during a Cabinet reshuffle by Zuma.
He was summoned from a trip with his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, in the United Kingdom which was aimed at attracting investors.
The report alleged that Gordhan was plotting against Zuma. Gordhan was replaced by Malusi Gigaba and was later reinstated as Minister of Public Enterprise by Ramaphosa.