Ramaphosa book rubbishes wife-beating claims

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is no woman beater, says sources.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is no woman beater, says sources.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER

An extract from a new book rubbishes allegations that South Africa's Deputy President and ANC presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa is a wife beater‚ revealing that the attacks were personal and intended to “severely damage” his support within the ruling party‚ particularly among women.

The claims are denied by a number of sources in Tiso Blackstar editor at large Ray Hartley’s book Ramaphosa: The man who would be king‚ which is to be launched on Wednesday.

Allegations of Ramaphosa assaulting his wife‚ according to Hartley‚ surfaced only during the outcry over former deputy minister of higher education Mduduzi Manana beating women outside Cubana‚ a nightclub in Fourways.

Social development minister Bathabile Dlamini came to Manana’s defence‚ claiming that he was not the only one guilty of abuse‚ and that there were “worse than him”.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema then named Ramaphosa as one of those abusers‚ and claimed that he had beaten his wife.

“It was a bombshell‚” Hartley’s book reveals. “Ramaphosa had been blamed for the Marikana massacre‚ and had been accused of cosying up to ‘white monopoly capital’‚ but this was an allegation of an altogether different character. It was personal‚ and it was intended to severely damage his support within the ANC‚ particularly among women.

“His former wife‚ Hope Ramaphosa‚ immediately spoke out against the claim‚ saying: ‘I lived with him‚ and had opportunity to make him angry many times‚ but never ever did Cyril lift a finger. Cyril would rather negotiate or do things amicably than beat [me] up. I was his wife and girlfriend for a very long time – Cyril would not beat up a woman. He is very sensitive to women’s issues.’

“Ramaphosa’s son Andile also dismissed the allegation in a social media post.

“The former governor of the South African Reserve Bank‚ Tito Mboweni‚ rushed to Ramaphosa’s defence‚ posting on Facebook: ‘I warned in May that this ANC leadership thing is going to get nasty. Smear campaigns will destroy this organisation. I do not believe for a moment that my brother and comrade has ever‚ ever‚ raised his hand against his wife. Never‚ never!’

“‘I think people must debate policy and ability‚ capacity and capability to lead the ANC and South Africa. We are a complex society‚ economy and politics. We need a leadership that can comprehend‚ integrate complex challenges‚ provide solutions and lead. We don’t need smear campaigns a la Bell Pottinger. If I am wrong on this‚ God help us.’

“Ramaphosa’s CR17 online supporters’ network also dismissed the charge: ‘With the high levels of domestic violence in South Africa‚ it is extremely unfortunate that baseless rumours of this nature are used for political gain.’

“The campaign warned of the ‘destructive role that fake intelligence reports have played in our public life’‚ and urged journalists to treat such reports with caution.

“The campaign went further‚ and said it supported ‘the thorough investigation by appropriate authorities of any and all credible allegations of criminal activity‚ especially violence against women and allegations of misappropriation of public funds.’”

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