5 quotes that sum up Ngoako Ramatlhodi's term as minister

29 November 2018 - 11:30 By Ntokozo Miya
Former Cabinet minister and ANC NEC member Ngoako Ramatlhodi at the commission of inquiry into state capture.
Former Cabinet minister and ANC NEC member Ngoako Ramatlhodi at the commission of inquiry into state capture.
Image: Masi Losi

The commission of inquiry into state capture was all ears as Ngoako Ramatlhodi delivered his testimony on Wednesday. Ramatlhodi explained how he got, and lost, his job as mineral resources minister. These are 5 quotes that sum up his testimony in that regard.

Waiting for the phone to ring

"When ministers are appointed, normally the exercise begins in the afternoon after the president has taken an oath. So many of us spend sleepless nights with telephones, waiting to be called," explained the former mineral resources minister.

Ramatlhodi got his call in 2014 

On the day he was to be informed of his new post, Ramatlhodi found other ministerial candidates waiting to meet with the president.

He said: "When you get into that chamber, into the room with the president, you are informed of what you're going to be and so on. You then leave, you don't go back to the other guys. That is the procedure."

It was during this meeting that Ramatlhodi learned that he would take up the responsibility of heading the mineral resources ministry.

Thrown in the deep end

"What worried me at the time: There was a strike which had been going on for about six months in the platinum belt.

"It's only when I reached home that I realised that they've put me against the strike," Ramatlhodi told the commission.

"Anyway, we did manage to stop the strike within a month of my appointment."

Messages of congratulations

According to Ramatlhodi, when the strike ended, he started getting calls from people wishing to congratulate him and his department for a job well done in foiling the strike.

"Among these people, I got a call from the president's son, Duduzane Zuma, who wished to convey his congratulations in person."

But Ramatlhodi was "very busy". "I had just gone into a very difficult ministry at the time so I didn't have time to entertain personal engagements," he added.

No notice prior to dismissal

Ramatlhodi testified about his time as the minister of mineral resources and various challenges he had faced while going about his duties.

Though there was tension arising from a number of issues he'd raised with the former president, Ramatlhodi says Zuma did not inform him of his impending dismissal. 

Ramatlhodi only found out he was "no longer minister" the morning after Zuma made the public announcement.

"I woke up in the morning and my wife tells me: 'You are no longer minister, papa.'"

And so ended Ramatlhodi's mineral resources tenure on April Fool's Day in 2017.