Ramaphosa denies Makhura ousted as Lesufi set to become Gauteng premier

African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa has pledged his support for the new incoming Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, denying reports that outgoing premier David Makhura was pushed out of office.

Makhura resigned from his position and the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, effective on Thursday, 6 October 2022.

Makhura resignation

Makhura handed in the letter to Gauteng legislature speaker Ntombi Mekgwe on Tuesday.

He was elected the 6th Premier of Gauteng in May 2014 and re-elected in May 2019.

ALSO READ: David Makhura resigns as Gauteng premier

Ramaphosa said Lesufi would receive the full support of the governing party as he prepares to take over from Makhura.

“I think he’s up to the job, he’s the new chairperson of Gauteng, and he’s going to be well supported by the members of the PEC and by the membership.”

Makhura was not pushed out

Ramaphosa has dismissed claims that Makhura was pushed out.

“It is a smooth transition. The premier had gone public himself and said that he would be leaving. So, there’s no drama, it is all being well executed, and we wish the new premier well and Makhura well as he goes forward.”

Video: Amanda Khoza

Makhura said he had always expressed his desire to hand over the reins to a new premier even though he was only left with two years before his second term ended.

Cosatu not happy

The move, however, has been criticised by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in Gauteng.

The trade union federation said the ANC in the province was embarking on a “political suicide mission”.

It said the decision on Makhura’s exit from office by the new PEC was “inward-looking” and followed “the same old trajectory of obsessing over palace politics while the working class is bleeding”.

“There are no signs that the newly elected leadership has understood nor managed to decode the message of the last couple of elections outcomes, ” said Cosatu.

The trade union federation will convene a special sitting of the Gauteng Legislature on Thursday at 12 pm at the Selborne Hall, Gauteng Provincial Legislature in Johannesburg, to elect the Premier of the Gauteng Province.

ALSO READ: ANC is embarking on a ‘political suicide mission’, says Cosatu on Makhura’s looming departure as premier

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