Ramaphosa urged to withdraw from interview with embattled Given Mkhari
Durban - Two civil rights organisations have written to President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting that he withdraws from Thursday evening's Power FM interview about women abuse, which will be conducted by the station's boss Given Mkhari.
The organisations, Soul City Institute and Wise4Africa, accused Mkhari of being a woman abuser. The interview was scheduled to take place on the talk show radio station’s Chairman’s Conversation show at 6pm.
The complaints by the two organisations surfaced despite the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) late last year withdrawing charges against Mkhazi of allegedly assaulting his businesswoman wife Ipeleng.
“We believe that your (Ramaphosa) appearance will give indirect endorsement to Mr Mkhari and further entrench the belief that there are no social consequences to violence behavior.
“We also believe that your appearance will minimise the nature of the problem and taint the credibility of the Presidency in dealing with violence against women,” said Soul City’s Lebogang Ramafolo in the letter to Ramaphosa.
The organisation commended Ramaphosa for being exemplary in fight against abuse but reminded him that Ipeleng, who is the Motseng Investment Holdings CEO and SA Properties Association president, had earlier last year opened an assault case against her husband who is the chairperson of MSG Afrika.
The case was withdrawn in the Randburg Magistrate's Court.
Ramafolo told Ramaphosa that Mkhari had failed to respect his listeners by explaining to them his “unacceptable conduct”.
“We are aware that Mrs. Mkhari has since withdrawn her criminal case against her husband.
“But we still believe that Mr. Mkhari, if he wants to be considered a leader, driving pertinent conversations about the development of the country, [he] should account about his behaviour, especially since this event happens in the middle of the country focusing on violence against women,” said Ramafolo.
Ramafolo had on Thursday, a few hours before Mkhari spoke to Ramaphosa, told Phemelo Motene’s About Life Happens show on SAFM that it was wrong for Ramaphosa to share the gender-based violence conversation with Mkhari.
Wise4Africa said Mkhari cannot avoid talking about the issue by hiding behind privacy.
“Domestic violence is not a private matter, especially when a case has been lodged.
“It may happen in private but it has tremendous public consequences that call for every citizen to be accountable,” said the organisation.
It further said South African should be united against this type of violence.
“We at the Wise Collective believe it is in poor taste for the Honourable President to participate [in] this Chairman’s Conversation with not only someone who has been accused of domestic violence but also one who refuses to account to the very public he uses to espouse values of transparency and the power of speaking out,” read Wise4Africa leader to the president.