Johannesburg - As reaction to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s alleged extramarital affairs scandal mounts, his office has declined to say if the country’s second-in-charge intends to take further legal action against a Sunday paper that published a story about his private life.
“Legal action is a private matter for the Deputy President so I will not be commenting on that,” spokesman Tyrone Seale said on Sunday afternoon.
The Sunday Independent reports that Ramaphosa allegedly used his status to prey on a string of women who include university students. This despite his presidential campaign being modeled on ethical and moral leadership,’ the paper said.
It further reported that Ramaphosa allegedly used three emails under different pseudonyms to communicate with the women whom he is said to have maintained financially.
One of the women is also said have been impregnated by Ramaphosa and subsequently had a miscarriage, while the other is alleged to have doubled up as her doctor and lover.
The comes after Ramphosa rushed to court on Saturday evening in a bid to interdict the paper from publishing the story but he lost.
South Gauteng High Court Judge Bashier Vally rejected the interdict and struck it off the roll.
While some users on Twitter maintain that Ramaphosa will survive the expose, some have questioned why the identities of the women were revealed.
Asked if the Presidency will issue any further statements on the matter, Seale replied: “As and when necessary, the Presidency will release a statement. For now there is nothing to say.”
In a statement released on September 1, Ramaphosa said while he ordinarily would not comment on private matters in public he felt compelled to respond to the allegations.
“There are 54 young students – both men and women – that my wife and I provide financial assistance to on a monthly basis, and have done so for several years. It is unfortunate that evidence of these bank transfers have been used to make scandalous allegations against me and, worse, to make public the names of some of the people assisted.”
“We find it disturbing that the privacy of these young women has been violated through the publication of their names and pictures on social media. It shows a callous disregard for the rights of the individual,” he said.
Ramaphosa added that the latest allegations went beyond a “political smear” saying: “It represents an escalation of a dirty war against those working to restore the values, principles and integrity of the ANC and society.”
Meanwhile, the paper’s editor Steve Motale said he was dealing with death threats after writing the story.
“I have people calling me using a private number. They don’t send messages. They just call. The mistake they are making is that they want to kill the messenger. I’m just a messenger here. There’s no agenda. We went through a rigorous process of vetting the info we received. Only after we ascertained that everything was correct did we send questions to the deputy president,” Motale said. He also said people had to open their eyes and leave their blind loyalty aside.
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