A week after the Sunday weekly national papers covered the story of Cyril Ramaphosa’s alleged extramarital affairs, the story political enemies of the Deputy President hoped would damper his chances at succeeding Zuma as ANC president, has seem to failed.
The story which originated from leaked emails of the Deputy President’s private Google accounts claimed Ramaphosa has had multiple relationships. The ANC Presidential hopeful denied such claims and only acknowledged an affair with a Limpopo doctor eight years ago – five years before he became Deputy President.
Here are five reasons why this story has gain minimal traction in derailing the Deputy President’s campaign:
Sex scandals are so 90s
We all remember or know about Bill Clinton’s history. People were naturally shocked and disappointed when he admitted to an affair with Monica Lewinsky. But that was in 1998 (when he was impeached by the House, saved by the Senate).
Since then, extramarital affairs by politicians have become somewhat common practice – or at least it has become more visible since the evolution of the media and the internet.
Nonetheless, voters tend to care less about such discretions – America elected a man who bragged on video how he takes pride in grabbing women by their genitalia – this is no longer a determining factor for an election.
We already had Zuma with rape charges
We already went through a egregious scandal concerning a presidential hopeful in the 2000s. Once cannot equate Zuma’s rape accusations and comical remarks when he was questioned in court to Ramaphosa’s alleged extramarital affairs. The former is a crime – the latter is just up to moral interpretation.
If there’s anything South Africans are concerned about with Ramaphosa, it would be his relationship to the events of August 16th, 2012. Voters are far more interested in his actions to lobby government and police to secure the protest area and was additionally guilty of labeling the protesters as ‘criminals’.
CR and wife exposed as good Samaritans
In response to these allegations, the Deputy President revealed that some of the women the he had been accused of having affairs with, were actually students who had been financially sponsored by himself and his wife. 54 students.
So perhaps in the attempt by his political enemies to portray Ramaphosa as another Bill Clinton, John Edwards or JFK, the strategy has instead aided the candidate in garnering more support and portrayed him as a victim of a dirty political campaign.
Corruption is the focus
After eight years of rampant misconduct and abuse of state institutions, swallowed by a state capture, the primary campaign theme for 2019 will be on corruption. Ramaphosa has relatively succeeded in driving home the sentiment that he is the anti-corruption candidate, now further strengthened after falling victim to dirty opposition attacks.
He is a plausible threat to the culture of corruption that has been facilitated by the Zuma machine. This is fundamentally accelerating Ramaphosa as the front-runner.
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