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Cyril Ramaphosa pulls plug on Power FM's much-vaunted interview

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa President Cyril Ramaphosa
Image: Esa Alexander

President Cyril Ramaphosa has pulled out of the much-anticipated The Chairman's Conversation by Gauteng-based radio station Power FM.

Ramaphosa was due to be interviewed by PowerFM's chairman Given Mkhari on Thursday evening.

However, the president after a meeting with civil society organisations Wise4Afrika and the Soul City Institute decided to withdraw from the interview.

"President Ramaphosa firmly believes that he, like every other South African, has a responsibility to do everything within his means to confront gender-based violence, and to do nothing that undermines the effectiveness of the national effort," the presidency said in a statement.

"This is all the more critical at a time when the country is observing the annual 16 Days of No Violence against Women and Children.

"The presidency notes that Mr and Mrs Mkhari met with representatives of certain civil society organisations and senior officials in the presidency today but unfortunately the resolution reached by the parties was too late to ensure his [Ramaphosa's] participation."

The presidency added that the non-participation of Ramaphosa should not be read as an "endorsement of the untested allegations raised by the civil society organisations but a carefully weighed-up decision taken in the public interest".

"The president calls upon all social partners to work together to develop concrete principles to give guidance in instances where gender-based violence is alleged outside of legal processes and the need for objective assessment of desirable action that should be taken.

"The presidency sincerely regrets any inconvenience caused to the listeners of Power FM, other media partners and the sponsors of the event."

Mkhari's public relations company, The Communications Firm, had not issued a statement at the time of publication.