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07/02/2018 15:00 SAST | Updated 07/02/2018 18:05 SAST

Thanks For The Statement, Mr Ramaphosa, But Seriously?

Deputy President Cyril Rampahosa's statement annotated on behalf of all South Africans by HuffPost's editor-in-chief.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's statement, followed by the author's response in italics.

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STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS COMRADE CYRIL RAMAPHOSA ON DISCUSSION WITH PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, COMRADE JACOB ZUMA ON TRANSITION

I would like to clarify some matters in this regard.

Well thank you, Mr Ramaphosa, you've certainly taken your time on this one.

Last night, President Jacob Zuma and I began direct discussions on the transition and matters relating to his position as the President of the Republic.

Well why haven't you concluded it? Surely it's a matter of critical import to sort out as soon as possible?

The discussions were constructive and lay the basis for a speedy resolution of the matter in the interests of the country and its people.

It doesn't sound very constructive if Zuma is still there. And using the word "speedy" is also taking it a bit far. It has been long, drawn out and tiring.

On the basis of the progress made, it was agreed to postpone a special meeting of the ANC National Executive Committee that had been scheduled for later today. This will enable President Zuma and myself to conclude our discussions and report back to our organisation and the country in the coming days.

Look, sure, conclude the discussions. But from afar it seems as if Zuma is playing for time and that he is succeeding in shoring up support and his defences. We may be wrong, but who really is in command of the situation. Surely not a president under a cloud of corruption and who is facing imminent indictments? If so, it's a shocker.

I am aware that the uncertainty surrounding the position of the Head of State and Government is a cause for concern among many South Africans. This is understandable. However, I am certain that the process we have now embarked on will achieve an outcome that not only addresses these concerns, but also unites our people around the tasks that all of us must necessarily undertake to build our country. We will be able to communicate further on President Zuma's position as President of the Republic once we have finalised all pertinent matters.

Yes, the uncertainty is killing us. The country is in limbo while we, as the ANC's Khusela Sangoni told HuffPost on Wednesday, give you "space" to sort out your fraternal issues. And thank you for understanding, but don't you think this charade has gone on long enough? Zuma is a seriously doubtful character who disregarded the Constitution and enabled state capture. And you're bending over backwards to accommodate whatever demands he has? We'd like communication and finalization now, please.

While the current situation has necessitated the postponement until further notice of the State of the Nation Address, the work of government and Parliament will continue.

Well, thanks to diligent civil servants, because there are ministers trying their damndest to make sure they survive the imminent Cabinet reshuffle . . . or won't there be one?

This is a challenging time for our country. Both President Zuma and myself are aware that our people want and deserve closure. The constructive process we have embarked on offers the greatest opportunity to conclude this matter without discord or division.

We'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you understand how challenging it is. But We don't for one second believe Zuma cares. Self-interest and self-preservation has been a hallmark of his term of office. And now we're indulging him even further.

Throughout this process, I am guided by the principle that the interests and needs of the South African people are paramount.

You might be guided by the principle, Mr Ramaphosa. But your counterpart certainly is not. So get rid of him.