Responding to his budget vote debate, President Cyril Ramaphosa said he hired Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan because he has known him to be a man of “commitment and integrity”.
This comes after the Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema went for Gordhan in parliament on Wednesday.
Malema called for Gordhan to step down until his cleared his name from the public protector’s investigation.
Ramaphosa responded to Malema saying: “I have appointed him to a critical and demanding position in Cabinet because I know him to be a person of commitment and integrity. He has endured and withstood extreme pressure, both under apartheid and in the democratic era. He’s been under pressure to abandon principle and to forsake his responsibility to this nation.”
He added that he couldn’t comment on the public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report on Gordhan because the matter was still in court.
He stressed that everyone was equal before the law and everyone had the right to defend themselves before the court of law.
“If Minister Gordhan or any member of this administration has anything to answer for they must be held to account, without exception,” said Ramaphosa.
“They must, yes, be hauled before any court and they must go and answer. I will be saying to him go and answer before a court of law. But allow that determination to be made by an appropriate judicial institution, after due process. Let the law take its course.”