Cyril Ramaphosa pulls out of PowerFM interview: Mzansi has mixed feelings

29 November 2019 - 11:52 By Cebelihle Bhengu
President Cyril Ramaphosa pulled out of participating in an interview with PowerFM boss Given Mkhari after members of the public questioned how he could engage with a man accused of abusing his wife.
President Cyril Ramaphosa pulled out of participating in an interview with PowerFM boss Given Mkhari after members of the public questioned how he could engage with a man accused of abusing his wife.
Image: TimesLIVE

South Africans have had mixed responses to President Cyril Ramaphosa pulling out of the PowerFM interview with station boss Given Mkhari.

Ramaphosa was expected to participate in “The Chairman's Conversation."

Mkhari had assault charges opened against him by his wife, Ipeleng, after an alleged fight over their home in July 2018. Mkhari opened a counter assault charge against his wife, but both cases were later withdrawn in the Randburg magistrate's court as they went for mediation in August.

Mkhari said he accepts the president's decision to withdraw from the interview.

He said in an interview with eNCA: "There are multiple considerations the highest office in the land would go through to arrive at this decision. We respect and accept it."

Ipeleng told eNCA the couple takes seriously the scourge of gender-based violence, a cause which she and her husband are committed to discussing with the organisations involved.

"As husband and wife and parents we are concerned about gender-based violence. We also acknowledge that this time happens to be around the 16 days of activism campaign. We would have loved to engage with the NGOs and we will continue to try to do that."

Among the non-governmental organisations that expressed concerns about the talk was The Wise Collective, which wrote to the presidency to question his involvement with Mkhari. 

Tweeps remained divided as some praised Ramaphosa for taking a stand, while others questioned if him silently pulling out will make any real difference in ending gender-based violence.

Here's a glimpse into reactions:


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