16 November 2017

South Africa: I Am Reading Jacques Pauw's Book - Ramaphosa

Photo: Supplied
Cover of The President's Keepers by Jacques Pauw.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has told Parliament that he is reading veteran journalist Jacques Pauw's book, The President's Keepers .

Ramaphosa appeared in the National Assembly on Thursday for his last question session of the year when the buzz around the popular book was raised in supplementary questions.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen asked Ramaphosa what he made of the State Security Agency's attempts to stop further publication of Pauw's book.

"I am reading the book," Ramaphosa admitted.

"And it's possible that the honourable chief whip is way ahead, because I think he uses it for bedtime reading, and it has possibly even taken the place of the Bible because he holds it in his hand all the time," he joked.

"I am finding there are quite a number of allegations being made and I want to get to the point where Mr Steenhuisen has gotten to, so one is able [to make a judgement]."

Ramaphosa did not answer whether the attempt to stop further publication of the book was credible, but said it was always better when the media was not curbed.

'Media should not be muzzled'

"I want to go into the depth of this book and be able to make a judgement whether it is a credible move to try and stop the book.

"I've learnt you must never muzzle the media. The media in terms of our Constitution should be free and fair," he said to applause from some in the opposition benches.

Before the question, Steenhuisen revived an old joke between himself and Ramaphosa and held up a small match box, saying Ramaphosa could use it to "fit his credibility in" if he was sacked from the Cabinet.

The jibe was a throwback to a previous question session, where Steenhuisen volunteered to help Ramaphosa pack his office, amid rumours that he was also set to be reshuffled by President Jacob Zuma.

"I thought matchboxes were not allowed in Parliament. I don't know what he wants to do with a matchbox. I don't know him as a smoker," Ramaphosa hit back smiling.

"I would like to caution Mr Steenhuisen about bringing matches into Parliament, because he may find that someone else has brought a bottle full of petrol.

"It's also possible that your reputation can fit into the head of one of the matches," he said as the ANC caucus broke into laughter.

Both Steenhuisen and Ramaphosa could be seen laughing and pointing fingers after the exchange.

Source: News24

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