Did Ramaphosa break lockdown rules by going maskless? Nah, the pic is old
An old photograph of President Cyril Ramaphosa shaking hands with Balwin Property CEO Steve Brookes has been causing a buzz on social media, leaving many to believe he broke his own Covid-19 regulations.
The photo was circulated on Twitter over the weekend by several accounts, including EFF leader Julius Malema.
It follows Ramaphosa and Brookes attending the launch of the Mooikloof Megacity Development project in Pretoria, where the president said the project would help accommodate black people who are still “confined to townships” as a result of apartheid spatial planning.
If it was a black woman,nkabe President cyril ramaphosa amo suspendile or ankile salary ya hae for breaking level 1 lockdown regulations .. our president is anti black people and black women . Look now , No mask No social distancing 🙆🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️. Malema o bua nnete cyril o tshaba makgowa pic.twitter.com/8CvFYJs9vH— Edgar Legoale (@EdgarLegoale) October 5, 2020
Did Ramaphosa break the law?
The photo shared by Malema and many others was taken in March, pre-lockdown, when Balwin Property launched the R9bn Munyaka Lifestyle Estate in Midrand.
According to a BusinessLIVE report, Ramaphosa attended that launch as a guest speaker.
He praised Balwin for undertaking a large-scale development, despite SA’s testing economic conditions.
“I’m a great believer in the development of infrastructure in our country, and Steve has just proved to me it can be done, even in the very trying economic conditions we are going through,” he said at the launch.
Two different pictures
When Ramaphosa met with Brookes over the weekend, both men were wearing different clothes. In a photo shared to debunk the claims, Ramaphosa and Brookes can both be seen wearing face masks and not shaking hands.
In a video shared by the Presidency's official Twitter account, Ramaphosa can be seen greeting Brookes with his elbow.
The president also greeted human settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu and minister of public works and infrastructure Patricia De Lille.
“Thank you Mr President for honouring us once again. Unbelievable, thank you,” Brookes can be heard saying to Ramaphosa.
President @CyrilRamaphosa arrives for the launch of the #Mooikloof Mega Residential City and is received by Premier @David_Makhura, Minister @LindiweSisuluSA, Minister @PatriciaDeLille and Dr @Kgosientsho_R #GrowSouth and Mr Stephen Brookes of @BalwinProp #GrowSouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/9AcvuAg0RU— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) October 4, 2020