Addressing affairs allegations 'a wise move' by Ramaphosa

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Published Sep 7, 2017


Analysts have welcomed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to come clean on allegations of his extramarital affairs following his announcement in Parliament

on Wednesday.

Head of politics at Unisa, Professor Dirk Kotze, said Ramaphosa wanted to address the matter so that it did not follow him until December.

Kotze made the comment after Ramaphosa told the National Assembly, during his question and answer session, he would deal with the matter in a day or two.

“I thought I should do something unprecedented, starting off by addressing a matter that has embroiled me.

"I will be addressing this matter in a day or two,” Ramaphosa told MPs.


He was doing so because he was taking responsibility, he said.

Kotze said this was a pre-emptive strike by Ramaphosa.

“What he is trying to do is to be pre-emptive so that he is not put under pressure by the ANC, the media and others,” said Kotze.

Ramaphosa wanted to set his own agenda on his personal life and campaign by dealing with the issue now, Kotze added.

The fact that Ramaphosa was trying to be pre-emptive would work in his favour.

Kotze said this worked for Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe when sexual allegations came out and he apologised.

The same happened with former US president Bill Clinton in 1998 with the Monica Lewinsky scandal - and he also apologised.

“He wants to deal with it so that it does not follow him,” said Kotze.

He said he did not believe the allegations would affect Ramaphosa's campaign to be elected at the ANC conference in December.

Cosatu and his other supporters have already come out to back him.

During question time on Wednesday Ramaphosa stuck to the script of answering questions when asked by MPs.

MPs across the floor did not raise the matter, but asked about the state of the economy, the issue of Bell Pottinger and Grace Mugabe.

Ramaphosa said the expulsion of Bell Pottinger from the UK trade body for sowing racial divisions in South Africa showed this was an affront in the UK and the country did not approve of it either.

He denied that Bell Pottinger gave advice to the ANC.

“I am not aware that Bell Pottinger gave advice to the ANC.

"If they did so as the deputy president of the ANC I would have been aware. We would have found it strange they would have given advice to the ANC,” he told the chamber.

Ramaphosa also told MPs he hoped the courts would help in resolving the issue of diplomatic immunity of Grace Mugabe.

This followed the review application by the DA and AfriForum.

“What we should allow, when this decision is taken, is to allow the courts who are the final arbiters to decide.

"I would like the court to rule as quickly as possible so that we will know how the executive will behave in future,” said Ramaphosa.

He said the country respected the culture of human rights.

The issue of diplomatic immunity for Grace Mugabe caused a storm in the country.

The government faced another court action after the incident involving Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Political Bureau

Related Topics: