African National Congress (ANC) “structures” have advised Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa not to speak about his “private matter” in public, he told the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday.
Furthermore, he said it is Cabinet’s job to deal with controversial South African Airways (SAA) board chairperson Dudu Myeni and the relevant authorities must be given space to investigate State capture.
Like last week in the National Assembly, the name Gupta didn’t once roll over Ramaphosa’s lips, despite it often cropping up in the questions of opposition MPs.
Two weeks ago allegations that Ramaphosa had several extramarital affairs surfaced.
Ramaphosa said on Wednesday although he told the National Assembly he would soon make a public statement on the matter, he has since discussed it with his family and consulted with ANC structures.
“They said, ‘As far as we’re concerned, that matter should rest there’ and I should not take it any further,” said the deputy president, without mentioning which ANC structures.
He also said there “were noises in the National Assembly” that it is not the place to discuss it. These “noises” were not audible in the press gallery.
Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Cathy Labuschagne asked Ramaphosa, who is chairperson of the inter-ministerial committee (IMC) on state owned enterprises (SOEs), if he will “step in and remove Dudu Myeni” from the SAA board as her presence is hurting the entity.
He said cabinet makes board appointments.
“We should leave this matter to cabinet,” he said.
“The IMC deals with broad policy matters.”
After one of the many questions on the Guptas’ influence over SOEs, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Tebogo Mokwele shouted: “Our hope is on you, deputy president!”
Ramaphosa said government has identified the challenges facing SOEs. "We know what the problems are, we are addressing these problems.”
He said many SOEs are functioning well, it is just a few with problems.
“It so happens the few are the big ones, the ones having an impact on our economy,” he said.
DA MP Willem Faber asked Ramaphosa if he would condemn the alleged state capture of SOEs by the Guptas.
“The position I have taken publicly on state capture is known. I remain firm on that," Ramaphosa answered.
“SOEs exist for no other reason than to serve the interests of our people.”
EFF MP Younus Vawda said Ramaphosa is on record that he believed the #GuptaLeaks are authentic and asked why there hasn't been action against those implicated.
“I’ve been very clear on this matter. Those institutions whose job it is to attend to these matters should act,” said Ramaphosa.
“Let us give them an opportunity and chance to do their work.”