‘1 unidentified leader:’ US reporter embarrassingly fails to identify Ramaphosa

Image credit: Twitter/Darlene Superville

President Cyril Ramaphosa may have been in office for about 18 months now, but one American news reporter seemingly doesn’t know him.

Darlene Superville, who is The Associated Press‘ White House reporter, posted a photo of Ramaphosa with other world leaders on Twitter on Sunday.

Ramaphosa was interacting with other heads of state and government at the G7 in France.

Superville’s caption identified the other leaders but only referred to Ramaphosa as “one unidentified leader.”

World leader bear hug before the group photo @ #G7Summit in Biarritz, France. ⁦@EmmanuelMacron⁩ ⁦@narendramodi⁩ ⁦@JustinTrudeau⁩ and one unidentified leader.

AP reporter Darlene Superville

Social media reacts

Superville’s embarrassing blip sparked social media reactions ranging from criticism to laughter.

Many criticised her for being ignorant and viewed her mistake as a sign of disrespect for the president and South Africans.

It’s deeply offensive to all South Africans that you don’t know who our president is. Given your job function, inexcusable. You owe an apology for your sloppiness.

Twitter user Clive Simpkins

This is very embarrassing. A 30 second Google search would have revealed that he is Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa.

Alastair MacAlpine

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams slammed Superville for her “ignorance.”

That “unidendified leader” Darlene is identifiable to the other leaders. Such ignorance you displayed because you only know white leaders.

Minister Stella Ndabeni


Nevertheless, some South Africans found some humour in the matter.

@EFFExplained joked, “‘Let me introduce you to world leaders,’ uBaba said… Look at us today.”

“When Nxamalala requested 6 months to introduce him to the world he refused. This mess could have been avoided!” added @lafistaz.

Superville had not yet acknowledged her mistake or posted anything about it at the time of publishing.

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