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POLL | Do you think Sisulu is defying Ramaphosa?

21 January 2022 - 14:00
Lindiwe Sisulu distanced herself from the presidency's claims she had retracted her opinion piece.
Lindiwe Sisulu distanced herself from the presidency's claims she had retracted her opinion piece.
Image: Trevor Samson

Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu has again sparked outrage and debate, after a public back-and-forth between her and the presidency on Thursday night over her controversial opinion piece.

Sisulu drew widespread backlash after penning the piece “Hi Mzansi, have we seen justice?” earlier this month. In it, she took aim at the judiciary and suggested black judges are “mentally colonised Africans who have settled with the world view and mindset of those who have dispossessed their ancestors”.

The presidency issued a statement on Thursday evening saying Ramaphosa had met Sisulu earlier this week and “admonished” her over the piece. It claimed the minister had retracted her piece, pledged her “support for the judiciary” and “conceded that her words were inappropriate”.

However, Sisulu distanced herself from the statement, saying she stood by her article. The presidency then hit back saying it stood by its earlier comments.

Reacting to the back-and-forth, many claimed Sisulu was deliberately trying to get herself fired by distancing herself from the presidency's statement. Others said she had nothing to apologise for.

On Friday, Sisulu said she was not “admonished” by the president and alleged the presidency's media team misinterpreted the meeting.

“At no point in the conversation was she firstly admonished nor secondly expressed regrets resulting in agreeing to withdraw or apologise for her article, but agreed to reconsider the particular line relating to the judiciary, which the president had raised issue with and was to share with her,” said Sisulu's spokesperson Steve Motale.

Motale confirmed that Sisulu met Ramaphosa, who expressed “discomfort” with some of her comments on the judiciary.

“We had a mature and sensible meeting and we thus concluded on good terms. In fact, yesterday [Thursday] the president called me and read the specific sentence that he had found offensive. We ended our discussion on an amicable base,” Sisulu said.


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