Tag Archives: Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa: Fake news fuelled much of recent xenophobic unrest

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said fake news fuelled much of the recent spate of xenophobia in parts of Gauteng.

Ramaphosa was speaking during an “Invest in Africa’s Space: Conversation with African Heads of State and Government” session at the ongoing Africa Investment Forum on Monday in Johannesburg.

He said, “The problem that often happens with all this is that fake news becomes the order of the day. In our situation, much of what happened was fuelled by fake news.”

‘South Africans are not xenophobic’

He cited pictures of “people jumping out of burning buildings” being circulated on social media as an example, saying the alleged incident happened in another country but was being purported to have happened in South Africa.

Ramaphosa explained that this fuelled reactions in other countries, which necessitated sending out special envoys to give a proper account of the situation.

The President said, “Inherently, South Africans are not xenophobic. The government of South Africa is irrevocably committed against xenophobia. We abhor it.”

He nevertheless acknowledged that while South Africa has welcomed foreign nationals fleeing difficult political and economic conditions in their countries, South Africans often want to “protect their own self-interest” when the local economy worsens.

In August and September, a number of shops, both local and foreign-owned, were looted and damaged during the unrest.

12 people lost their lives, two of them foreign nationals, according to the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Hundreds of foreign nationals subsequently decided to return to their countries of origin.

Africa Investment Forum 2019

According to its website, the Africa Investment Forum is “Africa’s investment market place – a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary platform dedicated to advancing projects to bankable stages, raising capital, and
accelerating the financial closure of deals.”

The annual event kicked off on Monday in Sandton and will conclude on Wednesday, 13 November. This year’s theme is “Accelerating an Integrated Marketplace.”

In addition to President Ramaphosa, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo are also in attendance.

It comes on the back of the South Africa Investment Conference 2019 held last week, where Ramaphosa raised about R363 billion in investment pledges.

Skinny Sbu inspires thousands with amazing pitch to Ramaphosa

Sibusiso Ngwenya, popularly known as Skinny Sbu, has inspired thousands of South Africans on Twitter after making a surprise pitch to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday.

Sbu shared a video of himself introducing his brand of socks, Skinny Sbu Socks, to Ramaphosa on the sidelines of the SA Investment Conference 2019.

He captioned his video, “I’m Proud to ANNOUNCE that President @CyrilRamaphosa is now the owner of Africa’s Number 1 Sock Brand @skinnysbusocks.”

‘My name is Sbu, I’m skinny and I sell socks’

In just about 30 seconds, Sbu managed to get the President’s attention, introduce his brand and hand over complimentary pairs of socks.

The determined entrepreneur made sure to use his signature line for memorable effect, “My name is Sbu, I’m skinny and I sell socks.”

Skinny Sbu started his business in 2013. Within just a year, he started distributing his socks to Johannesburg’s boutiques.

The brand is now widely available on several e-commerce platforms, including skinnysbusocks.co.za, as well as at selected Markham stores nationwide.

Thousands inspired

Sbu’s video has gone viral, racking up more than 9,000 likes and 3,000 retweets so far. Twitter users hailed his determined and effective pitch.

DJ Sbu replied, “Keep going Bitso. These brands ain’t gonna grow themselves Sbuda. Let’s keep doing doing the things bro. Proud of you.”

Maps Maponyane added, “How badly do you REALLY want it!? Well you’re going to have to step out of your comfort zone, take risks and even put yourself out there! Brilliant my brother! Your passion will always have any of those that give you half a chance, Sold!”

“Brilliant surprise pitch. You didn’t waste your 30 seconds – straight to the point. Your dreams are valid brother; keep hustling. Also, let us know how and where we can purchase your socks,” wrote @IamLadyElle.

Bazi Sindane said, “Honestly this is what Shooting Your Shot means. Bro, this is mad inspiring fam! Your Hustle is on another level. Keep at it, and Keep it up. All the Best for your in the future!!”

Dozens of Twitter users have already indicated that they will soon buy the brand. Excellent piece of marketing, Skinny Sbu!

Ramaphosa opens 2019 SA investment conference: ‘This is no talk shop’

President Cyril Ramaphosa has dismissed critics who say the South Africa Investment Conference is a “talk shop.”

In his opening address at the South Africa Investment Conference 2019 on Wednesday in Sandton, Ramaphosa said pledges made in 2018 have been translated to tangible projects.

He said, “We do this not as a gimmick. We do this after close and deep collaboration with various companies.”

‘This is serious business’

Ramaphosa added, “For those who doubted, right at the onset – and many people were very critical, dismissing this whole effort that you’re all involved in and saying, ‘This is just a talk shop.’

“And I’d like to say to them – this is no talk shop. This is serious business. We are involved in serious business.”

The President applauded companies that made commitments at last year’s event for living up to those commitments.

“Ahead of this conference, people were asking whether we will be able to show any progress – and the answer is yes, we are able to show great progress,” he said.

R238 billion invested from 2018 commitments

Ramaphosa said of the 31 projects pledged at the SA Investment Conference last year, eight have been fully operationalised in the form of new factories and facilities.

17 projects are “in construction or at implementation stage.” In total, these 25 projects represent around R238 billion of the nearly R300 billion pledged, he said.

The president said the remaining projects are still going through “regulatory framework” processes.

“And in many ways it is gratifying to see commitments made at this conference last year materialising in the form of new factories, new facilities, new production lines, new products as well as new services, but more importantly for us in South Africa, the new jobs that were created,” he said.

More than 1,000 delegates from South Africa and dozens of other countries are attending the three-day conference.

Ramaphosa aims to raise R1.2 trillion in new investments over five years to help grow the economy and create new jobs.

Amusement on social media as Angie Motshekga is appointed SA’s Acting President

South Africans have reacted with amusement to news that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will be South Africa’s Acting President once President Cyril Ramaphosa departs for Japan.

Ramaphosa will travel later on Thursday to support the Springboks, who play England in the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday.

Deputy President David “DD” Mabuza is currently in China attending a South Africa-China Bi-National Commission.

Ramaphosa has therefore appointed Motshekga as Acting President from Friday until Sunday.

South Africans on social media react

The news has sparked varying reactions on social media, with some using the opportunity to tell jokes at Motshekga’s expense.

Twitter user @MikeMaimane joked, “OMG! Now she’s gonna request only 30% pass rate for all government departments financial spending.”

“Reduce pass mark to 15% at varsity level and make entry requirements for PhD to be a diploma. We love you madam president,” wrote @Tumi_Hlakudi.

Facebook user Marie Moody was a little more sceptical: “Please press pause Angie. We honestly don’t trust you. You will still get paid. You already destroyed the education system. If you have any urges please call us we will restrain you.”

Motshekga’s “to-do list”

Some commenters came up with hilarious “to-do lists” for Motshekga. @Zamani08394294 joked, “Can we reshuffle while they are away. We start with Pravin. Please let’s be quick. Announcement at 10pm tonight.”

Thabang Mokoena added, “Start a war with Nigeria then increase teachers salaries by 1000%, abolish all e-tolls, arrest Malema and Floyd for VBS shenanigans, cut taxes to 1%, reshuffle Tito and please pass my regards to Bra Tiger!”

Others came up with alternatives to Motshekga, such as Democratic Alliance’s Helen Zille, Inkatha Freedom Party’s Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, and Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema.

Sontshikazi Mthiya said, “Should have appointed Chief Buthelezi instead. The situation with foreign nationals in Cape Town needed him to step in, in his acting capacity for a few days. Lesotho knows him when Mandela made him acting leader.”

“@Julius_S_Malema should have been appointed as acting President so that we can expropriate land without compensation while he is away eating our tax money,” wrote @ronza619.

Malema blames Ramaphosa for Mmusi Maimane’s dramatic exit from DA

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has blamed President Cyril Ramaphosa for Mmusi Maimane’s resignation from the Democratic Alliance (DA).

Malema was addressing journalists at Nasrec, Johannesburg, when he made the comments on Monday.

He said, “Look at what Cyril did to Maimane. All of you are saying Helen Zille, Helen Zille. It is not Helen Zille, it is Cyril.”

CR17 funders ‘are also DA funders’

Malema said Maimane’s troubles began when he raised the issue of ex-Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson’s R500,000 donation to Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign in Parliament.

The CR17 campaign led to Ramaphosa’s election as President of the African National Congress (ANC) in December 2017.

Maimane subsequently filed a complaint with Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane over the donation, leading to Mkhwebane’s damning report against Ramaphosa released in July.

Malema said, “The day Maimane wrote a letter [to Mkhwebane] and the public protector found against Cyril, Helen came out saying that was the most stupid thing to write [to Mkhwebane], and Tony Leon also came out saying the same. That is where the problems for Maimane started.

“Why? By writing the letter and emails coming out showing names, he exposed the funders who are the real owners of the DA.”

‘Why don’t you work with Cyril’

Malema also claimed that potential funders have asked EFF “to work with Cyril” but the party has refused.

“Every time we fundraise, people say to us, ‘Why do you not just work with Cyril?’ Imagine if they can say that to us, what about Mmusi?”

He claimed Maimane and outgoing Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba have been forced out of DA because they refused to work with Ramaphosa.

The EFF leader further suggested that CR17 campaign funders are also DA funders.

Malema and other EFF leaders were touring Nasrec ahead of the party’s National People’s Assembly scheduled for December.

Awkward: Masina shares pic with Mashaba but faces questions on his resignation

Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina shared a photo with outgoing Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba on social media on Tuesday.

The two were in Parliament to make presentations on the impact of illegal immigration on their respective metros.

However, sharing the pic turned out awkward for Masina because many of his followers had one question – when is he going to keep his word and resign like Mashaba?

Mashaba had indicated that he would resign if Helen Zille was elected Democratic Alliance (DA) Federal Council chairperson. He promptly announced on Monday that he will quit on 27 November.

‘Wouldn’t serve under Ramaphosa’

The outspoken Masina made headlines in 2017 when he declared he wouldn’t serve under the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

He made the vow in the run-up to the African National Congress’ (ANC) 54th national conference that eventually elected Ramaphosa as President.

News24 reported at the time that Masina said if Ramaphosa won, “white people will lead South Africa.” However, he didn’t make good on his threat to resign as Ekurhuleni Mayor after Ramaphosa won.

Masina, who is also chairperson of ANC in Ekurhuleni, is known as an ardent critic of “white monopoly capital” (WMC) and supporter of the radical economic transformation (RET) grouping.

Followers react to pic

His followers on Twitter didn’t let the small matter of his promise to resign slide and kept asking him about it.

Ray Mahlaka tweeted, “Uhm, awkward. Should we remind the gentleman on the left about his promise at Nasrec in 2017?”

@UnmovedLee added, “He must teach you how to resign when you promised to do so. He must teach you how to be a man of your word.”

“Herman must teach you how to stand by your word and principle. When you say to the public you’ll do something, do it. Don’t somersault when your comfort is threatened,” wrote @justpat66.

Xabiso Mntwana said, “We are still waiting for your resignation chief. We haven’t forgotten. You are the one who promised us.”

Masina has always insisted that the media misquoted him. In reply to a similar question about his resignation on Monday, he wrote, “You’ll wait for long Chief if you believe newspapers.”

Ramaphosa laments ‘lack of intellectual debates’ in ANC and its alliance partners

President Cyril Ramaphosa has lamented the “lack of intellectual debates” in the African National Congress (ANC) and its alliance partners.

Ramaphosa, in his capacity as ANC President, was addressing a South African Communist Party (SACP) event to mark the 60th Anniversary of the African Communist journal in Johannesburg on Monday.

He recalled how the journal was a “crucible for great ideas, great debates and robust debates” in the ANC-led movement during apartheid.

He explained, “Sometimes, when we hear about some of the debates that used to take place, we can decry the fact that we no longer have such great debates that we have heard about, that took place in exile, in the national executive committee, in the structures of the party.

“Debates that were vigorous, underpinned by deep intellectual rigour. And we can decry that they no longer take place. The African Communist helped to inspire such debates.”

‘Magnifying racial and ethnic differences’

Ramaphosa said the journal played a big role in shaping ANC’s understanding on non-racialism.

He said non-racialism is now under threat from some sections of society which are “magnifying otherwise dangerous racial and ethnic differences as the basis of accumulation and exclusion.”

These sections are exploiting South Africa’s “tough economic climate” to fuel these differences, he added. However, he didn’t mention which these sections of society are.

‘Capture of the state’

Ramaphosa also said the African Communist has acted as the ANC’s “revolutionary conscience” on matters such as “state capture.”

He explained, “We view the African Communist as an integral part of our revolutionary conscience, warning us about the dangers of the slow pace of socio-economic transformation…

“…the dangers of corruption and capture of the state by private corporate interests, the erosion of our moral credibility, the weakening of state organs and the resultant decline in our electoral support.”

Ramaphosa added that these challenges constitute a “point of entry for counter-revolution and reversal of our democratic gains.”

He attributed the ANC’s path of renewal partly to “critical voices” in the African Communist.

Among other high profile leaders who attended the event were ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte and SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande.

Maimane to Ramaphosa: Confirm state won’t pay for Zuma’s ‘stalling tactic’

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to confirm that the state will not pay for former President Jacob Zuma’s “latest stalling tactic.”

On Tuesday, Zuma’s lawyer Thabani Masuku told the Pietermaritzburg High Court that Zuma will be appealing the recent dismissal of his application for a permanent stay of prosecution.

The matter relates to 18 corruption-related charges Zuma faces dating back to 2005.

‘Stalling tactic’

In a statement, Maimane referred to Zuma’s appeal as a “stalling tactic.” He said he would write to Ramaphosa to get his confirmation “in writing.”

Maimane also wants Ramaphosa to provide an update on the state’s process of recovering public funds that paid for Zuma’s “decade-long plan to escape accountability.”

In December 2018, the Pretoria High Court ruled that Zuma must refund the state. His leave to appeal that ruling failed in June this year.

The amount Zuma owes the state as a result of the ruling reportedly runs into millions of rand, according to TimesLIVE.

‘We will not relent’

Maimane indicated that the DA will continue pursuing the matter.

He said, “The DA is committed to seeing justice done, and we will continue to fight for accountability at all levels of government. We will not relent until Jacob Zuma is held to account for his corrupt actions.”

Zuma’s charges relate to 783 payments, amounting to around R4 million, he allegedly received from his ex-financial advisor Schabir Shaik and his companies.

In his permanent stay of prosecution application, Zuma’s lawyers had argued that the state’s 15-year delay in charging him, as well as alleged political interference, meant he couldn’t get a fair trial.

However, the application was dismissed. The former president has until 1 November to file his appeal, with the hearing set for 22 November.

If his appeal fails, a pre-trial date has been set for 4 February 2020. Full trial is slated for 30 April, 2020.

Watch: Ramaphosa charms Liberian ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

President Cyril Ramaphosa turned on the charm in an encounter with former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Monday.

The two met at the Financial Times Africa Summit in London, where Ramaphosa delivered a keynote address.

He shared a video of their encounter on Twitter and said he had the “joy and honour of being in the presence” of Sirleaf.

In the 30-second clip, he’s heard telling Sirleaf, “You’re looking so much younger. You’ve always been beautiful, but [now you’re] even more beautiful. You make the hearts of young men like me flutter.”

The two, along with another gentleman, shared a laugh before Ramaphosa sauntered to the stage.

The President repeated joke in the opening remarks of his keynote address, drawing laughter from the audience.

Ramaphosa and Sirleaf first met in August 2017 during the latter’s state visit to South Africa when she was still Liberian President. Ramaphosa was Deputy President at the time.

‘Invest in Africa’

Ramaphosa used his address to invite foreign investors to invest in Africa and South Africa in particular.

He cited the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), which he said “will bring together into a single market 54 nations of some 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of over $3 trillion.”

ACFTA’s operational phase is set to be launched in July 2020. 54 out of 55 African countries have signed it, with many of them also ratifying it in their domestic laws.

Ramaphosa added that African countries are implementing economic reforms and taking measures to improve their ease of dong business.

Unity in Africa

He also appealed to African countries to unite and “use our considerable collective resources to uplift our people.”

He explained, “We may come from different parts of the world, we may speak different languages and have different cultures. 

“But our fortunes are intertwined. Our destinies intersect. And ultimately, our success story will be a shared one.”

Ramaphosa slams ‘outside interference’ in Africa, calls for African unity

President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken out against “outside interference” in Africa that advances “the interests of powers beyond our shores.”

Speaking at the Financial Times Africa Summit 2019 in London on Monday, Ramaphosa said the continent should seek “African solutions to African problems.”

“Africa wants to deal with the rest of the world on its own terms. It wants to see an end to outside interference, particularly from those countries that continue to fuel conflict in African countries,” he said.

The president added, “The continent cannot develop fully for as long as parts of Africa remain theatres of war to advance the interests of powers beyond our shores.”

He lambasted “foreign money that buys the weapons” used in African conflicts, saying this money should instead be used to build Africa’s infrastructure.

‘Invest in Africa’

Ramaphosa talked up Africa, and particularly South Africa, as an investment destination.

He cited the soon-to-be-launched African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), which he said “will bring together into a single market 54 nations of some 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of over $3 trillion.”

He also spoke against Africa’s “borders drawn up in the palaces of Europe,” saying ACFTA will make them “less significant.”

The president said the fact that elections have taken place or will take place in 11 African countries in 2019, including South Africa, signals the continent’s growing political stability.

African countries are implementing economic reforms and taking measures to improve their ease of dong business, he added.

Ramaphosa said South Africa’s land reform process is aimed at resolving “one of the great injustices of our colonial and apartheid history.”

African unity

Ramaphosa appealed to African countries to unite and “use our considerable collective resources to uplift our people.”

He explained, “We may come from different parts of the world, we may speak different languages and have different cultures. 

“But our fortunes are intertwined. Our destinies intersect. And ultimately, our success story will be a shared one.”

Ramaphosa held other meetings on the sidelines of the Summit, including with Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

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