Ramaphosa: Sex scandal a well-resourced operation against me

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has lost his court bid to prevent the Sunday Independent from publishing an article about him.

FILE: South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa talks to potential investors during discussions at a Brand South Africa briefing at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland on 17 January 2017. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has lost his court bid to prevent the Sunday Independent from publishing an article about him.

The urgent application heard in the High Court in Johannesburg was struck off the roll.

Ramaphosa had released a statement after questions, sent to him by the paper, were circulated on social media.

“It is evident that there is a well-resourced, coordinated covert operation underway to prevent those responsible for wrongdoing from being held to account and for the integrity of our law enforcement agencies and other state institutions to be restored.”

The newspaper asks for clarity around the alleged relationships between him and eight women.

Ramaphosa has described the alleged social media smear campaign against him as a dirty war against those who're working to restore the African National Congress.

“Resembling in many ways the ‘stratkom’ techniques of the apartheid-era, we have seen in recent weeks a number of attempts at disinformation directed at me and people with whom I am associated. These activities need to be seen within a broader campaign that has targeted several political leaders, trade unionists, journalists and civil society activists.”

The emails circulating on social media shows the Sunday Independent listing the names of eight women and ask Ramaphosa whether he had romantic relations with them.

It further alleges one woman alternates as the deputy president’s medical practitioner and lover.

Ramaphosa says while he will not comment on private matters in public, he felt compelled to respond to these allegations.

“It has come to my attention, through questions that were sent to me by the editor of a Sunday newspaper, that a number of emails from my private email account have been illegally obtained and provided to at least one media outlet.”

The presidential hopeful and his wife provide financial assistance to 54 young students.

He says it’s unfortunate that the information from these students is being used to peddle scandalous 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.”

Ramaphosa says this shows the callous disregard of the rights of individuals named in the report.

The deputy president adds the allegations will not divert him.

“I am now even more convinced that our movement, the African National Congress, needs to be restored to its rightful owners, the people of South Africa.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)