Mabuza defends Ramaphosa over de Ruyter appointment, SAA business rescue

Deputy President David Mabuza has come to the defence of President Cyril Ramaphosa on a number of recent controversial decisions.

Mabuza was speaking at the 4th special national conference of the South African Communist Party (SACP) in his capacity as African National Congress (ANC) Deputy President in Kempton Park on Tuesday.

He said the the decisions to appoint Andre de Ruyter as Eskom CEO and to place South African Airways (SAA) into business rescue were collective decisions, not Ramaphosa’s alone.

ANC deployment committee

Mabuza acknowledged that, as chairman of ANC’s deployment committee, he has been criticised over the “deployment of cadres into strategic positions.”

He said the deployment committee has decided to go on a “retreat” to discuss these challenges.

The Deputy President added, “The recent deployment of Eskom CEO is a case in point, and this is a decision that we took in the deployment committee, all of us.

“And people are now quiet. The only person that is being blamed is the President. The decision to deploy de Ruyter as the CEO is a decision that we took collectively.”

SAA business rescue

He added that the appointment, which some criticised as “anti-transformation,” should be seen as part of the ANC’s “programme” to build a nonracial society.

Mabuza told delegates at the conference that putting SAA into business rescue was similarly a collective decision. Some have criticised it as part of a plan to privatise SAA.

He said, “The decision to put SAA under business rescue is a decision that we took. It’s not a decision of the President.

“We arrived at that decision because of a number of considerations that we took. It is in the best interest of the workers in SAA and is in the best interest of the entity not to close down.”

Mabuza also apologised to the public and the business community for the ongoing load shedding.

“We’re going to tackle all the challenges faced by all our state-owned enterprises together. Some of the decisions that we’re going to take are going to be very unpopular decisions,” he said.

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