Dear Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa.
I feel compelled to write this letter due to your staggering hypocrisy. The way you have handled the media reports about your romantic relations rules you out as a potential president of South Africa. Your reaction to the media expose which, in and of itself shouldn’t be a scandal if you exercised a little bit of honesty, empathy and leadership, was telling. These are qualities you singularly lack as evidenced by your scandalous role in the mass murder of black workers in Marikana in 2012. You are not fit to govern Mr Ramaphosa.
Mr Ramaphosa, men in South Africa are beneficiaries of a patriarchal system which gives them licence over many transgressions. If you admitted to your multiple relationships, asked for forgiveness and paid “damages” and lobola were applicable, this saga would have been forgiven. You could have taken leaf from how Minister Jeff Radebe dealt with the embarrassing matter of the inappropriate requests. He apologized and the matter was left to rest. But here we are dealing with a man who doesn’t take any responsibility for his actions and yet wants to be president of a nation that needs a president with capacity for humility and empathy.
I was not surprised when I heard that it was you who leaked the questions sent to your personal email account. It’s not the leaking of the questions which is the problem. That was just your usual dishonesty and desperation to try minimise the media impact of the scandal. What is a real shock is how you discarded those women for your own selfish interests. You threw the women you shared intimate relationships with under the bus for the second time. Your relationship with them, gleaned from the exposed emails, shows a shocking disregard for their feelings and dignity. When you realised you were to be exposed you didn’t think twice about exposing their names to the public; you just leaked the questions with their names just like that. How cruel can you be?
I note that you have not denied leaking the questions. I also note that the editor of the Sunday Independent, Mr Steve Motale, has on several occasions pointedly accused you of leaking the questions sent to your personal e-mail account. When you realised the implications of the questions you panicked and put Cyril Ramaphosa first. The well being of the women named on the leaked questions didn’t matter at all. Many people of good will ask, why didn’t you just answer the questions?
The pattern of refusal to take responsibility for your actions, as we saw in Marikana, repeats itself here. When the going gets tough, you don’t hesitate to put yourself first irrespective of the consequences to those who depend on you for protection. How are you going to take care of a country in need? Your modus operandi is to serve Cyril first. That’s not the type of president our country deserves.
I also note that the white-owned media has underplayed another shocking revelation by your own actions. Mr Ramaphosa you don’t respect media freedom. Imagine a president which will be barking instructions to owners of the media to tell them to deal with editors about to publish stories the president does not like? Your attitude towards media freedom is similar to that of PW Botha and other apartheid leaders. This is not a smear campaign, as what your lawyers revealed in court. You are the one who called on Dr Iqbal Surve to censor the editor, Mr Motale, instead of answering the questions he sent you.
The silence of the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) on your blatant disregard of the sacred principle of editorial independence tells us how the editors of the South African white-owned media are poodles in the hands of those who pay their salaries. SANEF is captured by the bosses; it only bites when instructed to do so. The principled manner in which both Dr Surve and Mr Motale handled the pressure you tried to put on them is commendable. They didn’t buckle like the police in Marikana, which led to loses of so many lives. Imagine if you are president, what kind of harassment should the media expect?
Mr Ramaphosa; generally we should as people let adults handle their private business privately. But, it’s you who elevated the issue of “blessers” and “sugar daddies” into a public policy matter. You castigated these practices when you are steeped in them. You seem to seek monopoly over the status of being a blesser. How do you do in private what you denounce publicly? How do we as a people trust what you say now? How do we know what you truly endorse or what you forbid?
Mr Ramaphosa your conduct on this matter has left numerous questions begging for answers. You have avoided any truth and have fed us several versions of lies. To move towards clearing your name, you should give an affidavit and swear under oath that:
1. You never had sex with any underage girls
2. You never had unprotected sex other than with your wife.
3. You have never paid for sex
4. You have told your wife about every person you’ve had sex with, man or woman
5. You have not had sex with any person (man or woman and excluding the one you claim to have told your wife about) in last 8 years
6. You did not abuse your power as deputy president and businessman to gain sexual favours.
7. You did not leak the questions sent to you by Sunday Independent.
Whilst a sworn affidavit will not cleanse you of your sins and wouldn’t automatically turn you into an ethical person worthy of the highest office in the land, such a move will show you still have a conscience.
I call upon you Mr Ramaphosa to save us all from your possible presidency and for the first time think not about yourself but the common good of our people. I advice that you not use your money and influence to buy your way into the presidency. Our nation deserves a president who will put the people first and that’s not you sir.
This article first appeared on Black Opinion
Deputy President – BLF