The strange claims SA politicians made
. . . after being caught with their pants down
JOHANNESBURG — Unlike South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who swiftly attended to allegations of multiple extramarital affairs, some South African politicians who’ve been caught with their pants down have not been so swift or so PRready with their responses.
On Sunday, several newspapers carried the news of Ramaphosa’s alleged affairs — with a relatively quick response from the presidential hopeful. Ramaphosa dismissed the claims, admitting to only one affair eight years ago. He also promised to “take full responsibility” where he had erred.
If only some South African politicians would take a leaf out of the presidential hopeful’s PRready book.
From outright denials, delayed admissions and strange defences, such as “brief intercourse while standing” and “this thing was a one-night stand” — some responses have been weird, eyeraising and downright funny.
Here are our top six: Kebby Maphatsoe: ‘I have thick skin...i’m a Christian... not vindictive.” A picture of the deputy minister of defence and military veterans — in his full glory — made the rounds on social media in October 2016.
The nude picture appeared to have been taken by a person — assumed to be a woman, whose legs are in the image.
Maphatsoe told Sunday World: “I started receiving calls from comrades, asking ‘did you see this thing on social media platforms?’“
“Fortunately, I have thick skin,” he said.
“I will not sue or press criminal charges. I’m a Christian and I’m from a Christian background, so I’m not vindictive.”
Malusi Gigaba: ‘This person had sinister motives’ The news of Gigaba’s affair with New York-based stylist, Buhle Mkhize, came out in 2015 — re- sulting in public spats between Mkhize and Gigaba’s wife Nomachule.
In a statement, Gigaba, who was then the minister of home affairs, said: “The source of this defamation has developed an unhealthy obsession with my family. I can only blame myself for befriending a person who had sinister motives.”
Earlier this year, Mkhize took to Twitter to respond to Nomachule’s interview with ENCA, and threatened to release more “files” about the affair.
Zwelinzima Vavi: ‘Brief intercourse took place while standing’ In 2013, then general secretary of Cosatu, Vavi, was accused of rape by Jacqueline Phooko, who worked at the federation’s headquarters.
Vavi denied the claims, saying the sex with Phooko was consensual.
He describes one such encounter: “I did lock her office door but only to ensure that no one else could come in. Brief intercourse took place whilst we were standing. At no stage did she ask me to stop.”
Asked by Carte Blanche why he hadn’t deleted texts he shared with Phooko, he said: “I thought I had deleted them for some reason, but I didn’t.”
Fikile Mbalula: ‘This thing was a one-night stand’ In 2011, the then sports minister reportedly had an affair with model Joyce Molamu — who later claimed Mbalula impregnated her.
After initially denying the affair, Mbalula later admitted to it and apologised.
He responded: “I have been trying to deal with this matter in a private manner for the past three months and when it became clear to me that this woman was prepared to extort money from me, I then decided to cease all communication with her as I was not prepared to be blackmailed.”
Speaking on SABC3’S “Real Talk With Anele” recently, Mbalula said of the affair: “It is always reported that she is my girlfriend. [Do] you know a girlfriend? It is someone who is steady‚ you go out with‚ you go to the movies‚ and even if you cheat‚ you are always loyal to her. And then you get caught.”
He added: “This thing was a one- night stand‚ and it happened just like that. It so happens that I regret that.”
Jeff Radebe: ‘Let me see there’ In May, the minister in the presidency is said to have requested nude pictures from government photographer Siyasanga Mbambani.
The Sunday Times reportedly had in its possession explicit texts from the presidential hopeful to Mbambani, saying “C.L.I.T is requested” — which some believed referenced her clitoris.
“Let me see there,” Radebe stated in another text, further asking her to “take one [picture] down [there].”
Through his spokesperson, Radebe said he “deeply regrets that the exchanges took place in the first place”.
He also told The Star: “Beyond those exchanges, there was never a relationship and the communication was never acrimonious.”
President Jacob Zuma: ‘I deeply regret the pain I caused’ In 2005, Zuma faced a legal battle after he was accused of raping the late Fezekile “Khwezi” Kuzwayo. He was acquitted in 2006. Two years later, he was elected president of the ANC.
In 2010, it emerged that Zuma had fathered a child with his friend Irvin Khoza’s daughter, Sonono. Sonono was 39 at the time.
Zuma apologised, saying he deeply regretted his actions that put a lot of pressure on his family and the ANC.
“I have over the past week taken time to consider and reflect on the issues relating to a relationship I had outside of wedlock,” he said in a statement. “...I also acknowledge and understand the reaction of many South Africans. I deeply regret the pain that I have caused to my family, the ANC, the alliance and South Africans in general.”
SA President Jacob Zuma (right) and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.