President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated that he is willing to appear before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry Into Allegations of State Capture.

Ramaphosa told Parliament, during a reply session to the budget of the Presidency on Thursday, that he had always been prepared to come clean before the commission.

Several senior leaders of the ANC have testified before the inquiry and explained their roles and what they know happened.

Some former Cabinet ministers and senior officials are still to come back and give more evidence, including former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene and former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas.

Ramaphosa said the commission was part of his government’s plan to ensure it strengthened the fight against state capture and corruption.

He said it would not be business as usual and that they wanted all law enforcement agencies to investigate these cases.

However, the Presidency would not interfere with the work of these agencies.

Ramaphosa also told EFF leader Julius Malema that he would not fire the minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan.

The EFF has been pushing for the axing of Gordhan since Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released her report in which she made adverse findings against the minister.

But Ramaphosa said it was not his place to fire Gordhan without the court processes having been finalised.

He said Gordhan had endured extreme pressure during apartheid and in the government.

Ramaphosa said no one was above the law, including himself, Gordhan and Malema.

The president said he would not start acting now on Gordhan when he was seeking recourse in the courts.

He said he had appointed him to a critical position. Gordhan is leading the clean-up of state-owned entities including Eskom, Denel and SAA.

“If Gordhan or any minister has anything to answer for they must be held to account,” said Ramaphosa.

Malema was fuming in Parliament this week that Ramaphosa had joined Gordhan in his court application to challenge Mkhwebane’s report and interdict her remedial action.

Ramaphosa also told DA leader Mmusi Maimane that the government would not scrap Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE).

He said this policy had empowered a lot of people who were marginalised from the mainstream economy.

Maimane had taken a swipe at Ramaphosa this week during the debate that B-BBEE must be done away with as it had only benefited a connected few.

But Ramaphosa said B-BBEE was opening opportunities for many black people.

Political Bureau