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ANC denies knowledge of SABC debate between Ramaphosa, Maimane

The ANC head of the presidency at Luthuli House, Zizi Kodwa, said that President Cyril Ramaphosa knows nothing about the debate.

President Cyril Ramaphosa in Tembisa during an ANC election campaign trail. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The African National Congress (ANC) has denied that its President Cyril Ramaphosa will participate in a debate with Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

On Tuesday, Maimane confirmed receiving a formal invitation to be part of The Big Debate's official presidential debate to be held 10 days before the polls.

He said that he welcomed an opportunity to participate in the debate, saying it would provide an opportunity for transparency from the president.

The ANC head of the presidency at Luthuli House Zizi Kodwa said that Ramaphosa knows nothing about the debate.

“Firstly, President Ramaphosa is not aware of any debate and therefore if there was any discussion between the DA and the SABC, the ANC has never been a party to that discussion.

“We saw the alert which was almost confirming interview or debate from the SABC account but the ANC is not aware.”

He was asked if the president was willing to participate in any other presidential debate.

“We’ve always been prepared to participate in any debate; but at the moment, as you’re aware, we’re really door-to-door, making sure that we are interacting with our people.”

Last week, the public broadcaster aired the 1994 pre-election debate between former President Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk.