I’m not a blesser, but I did have an affair
‘Doctored e-mails’ behind smear, says deputy president
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has made a dramatic confession about an extramarital affair, as he moves to clear his name amid signs of a dirty tricks campaign to derail his bid for the ANC presidency.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Times yesterday, Ramaphosa said the affair, with a Limpopo doctor had ended eight years ago.
“I had a relationship with only one person and it ended. I dealt with it with my wife. We now have a professional relationship.”
The doctor was not available for comment late yesterday.
Ramaphosa said some of the other seven women named as his “girlfriends” in a document circulated on social media this week were in fact students he and his wife, Tshepo Motsepe, were assisting financially.
“I am not a blesser. My wife and I support 54 young people every month — 30 females and 24 males. We are transforming people’s lives.”
Motsepe, who is a sister to South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, yesterday stood by her husband, saying she was hurt at what was clearly a smear campaign.
“It is very sad what is happening. It’s disappointing that people have to go to such lengths to discredit a person. I am very, very upset about it. We have been together for a very long time and are happily married. I support and respect him and I love him.”
She confirmed that some of the women named were receiving financial support from her and her husband. The oldest is a 44year-old male cardiologist.
Late last night, Ramaphosa failed to interdict the Sunday Independent from publishing a story about his alleged extramarital affairs.
The deputy president told Sunday Times he believed state resources were being used to orchestrate a political smear campaign to stop him from contesting the ANC leadership in December.
“I have to be prevented at all costs from ascending to the position of president of the ANC. Some have even said it will happen over their dead bodies. I have not committed any crimes, I have not stolen any money, I have not looted state resources.
“But I am being targeted and smeared. Basically, state institutions have been utilised to hack into my private e-mails. State institutions should never be utilised to fight political battles.”
Ramaphosa was trending on social media on Friday after questions sent to him by the Sunday Independent were leaked.
In the questions, purporting to be from Sunday Independent editor Steven Motale and seen by the Sunday Times, Ramaphosa is asked to confirm his private e-mail addresses, and to confirm if he has had “romantic and sexual relationships with the women listed below, as suggested by the e-mails in our possession”. It also asks him to respond to “suggestions” in the e-mails that he had unprotected sex and that one of the women fell pregnant and miscarried.
Ramaphosa questioned whether his private affairs were in the public interest.
“For me that is the question. Has a crime been committed? No crime has been committed. It is private communication and really there is no interest about it.”
He would ask the inspector-general of intelligence to investigate the hacking of his emails to try to get those involved to face the music. “I have no doubt they would have doctored some of the e-mails.”
Ramaphosa said he had been warned “a few months ago” about the campaign, by officials who refused to be part of it.
“I was told they are building a file on me, that [the campaign] would even go on to be violent. They are going to get desperate.
Disgraced former higher education deputy minister Mduduzi Manana has remained defiant in the face of calls for him to step down as an MP, saying he is looking forward to his new role in parliament.
In an interview with the Sunday Times this week, Manana made it clear he would not resign from the National Assembly despite threats of legal action against parliament from a lobby group opposing the abuse of women, should the legislature fail to take stern action against him.
Manana quit his position under a cloud a fortnight ago after admitting to assaulting a woman at a Johannesburg nightclub. He is facing criminal charges in this regard.
Manana said he was staying put as an ANC backbencher and looked forward to whatever role party bosses were preparing to assign him.
“I’m still waiting for the party leadership [to give me direction]. I started as a member of parliament. I sat as a member of parliament for three years [before becoming a deputy minister]. This is a deployment, and wherever I’m sent by the party I will serve accordingly,” said Manana.
“I will serve anywhere where the party sends me to, any portfolio committee. If they send me to rural development I will serve there, I will take instruction from the party.”
Manana said he was “consulting widely” and was dealing with the “underlying issues” that drove him to assault a woman.
“I am seeking professional help to deal with whatever underlying issue that caused me to act in the manner that I did and I’m obviously participating fully in the criminal justice system so that indeed the law is served and both myself and the victim at some point are able to live in harmony and coexist going forward,” he said. Manana refused to discuss the incident. The Women’s Legal Centre has asked parliament’s joint ethics committee to initiate proceedings against Manana, saying his conduct was in breach of the code of ethical conduct for MPs.
The NGO has threatened to haul the legislature to court if it fails to act against Manana.
Advocate Bronwyn Pithey, of the centre, said it was “a most telling indictment of his flagrant disregard for the constitutional values of South Africa, let alone the criminal nature of the conduct in question”.
Pithey said the complaint to the ethics committee, submitted in terms of clause 2 of the code of conduct, outlined that Manana has “acted in a manner that is manifestly inconsistent with his oath of office; and violated the standards of ethical conduct as set forth in the code of ethical conduct disclosure”.
Pithey said the registrar of parliament’s ethics committee, Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara, has acknowledged the complaint. He has seven days to present it to MPs serving on the ethics committee.
Vanara had not responded to requests for comment at the time of going to print.
Manana is also facing internal disciplinary proceedings in the ANC, after its national working committee resolved that action should be taken against him.
But ANC national spokesman Zizi Kodwa has declined to indicate when disciplinary proceedings against Manana will be instituted.
“When the matter is pronounced to be before the disciplinary committee we don’t make further comments about it until it is finalised. The decision [to discipline Manana] has not changed,” said Kodwa.
He declined to comment on the Women’s Legal Centre’s calls for Manana to be removed from parliament.
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu also declined to speak about Manana’s future as an MP.
“We will tell him, but not through you the media,” said Mthembu.
He said he wasn’t aware of any submissions calling for Manana to be fired.
Pithey said if Manana was not axed from parliament, the Women’s Legal Centre would challenge the matter in the high court.
“If we jump the gun a little bit, which I don’t want to do, we have recommended dismissal. If the sanction is less than dismissal we would have to consider our legal options there as well in terms of bringing an application. We want him dismissed. That’s what we’re calling for. We believe that in terms of the rules, the National Assembly can dismiss him. It’s well within the rules,” said Pithey.
We want him dismissed. That’s what we’re calling for . . in terms of the rules, the National Assembly can dismiss him
Bronwyn Pithey Women’s Legal Centre