The hanky-panky that may or may not have been going on in the private life of presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa is likely to be the topic of many after-church lunch conversations all over the country on Sunday.
Is deputy president Ramaphosa a blesser? Did he have an affair‚ or affairs? Judging by the front pages of the Sunday Times and Sunday Independent‚ there are two very different sides to this story.
Ramaphosa has dismissed it all as a smear campaign and admitted to having one affair‚ but the Sunday Independent is sticking to its leaked-email guns revealing that maybe a whole lot more has been going on between the sheets and promised to reveal more juicy details in the coming weeks.
But after all‚ we have to remind ourselves‚ this is South Africa.
Sex scandals rarely topple campaigns or cause cabinet reshuffles but rather‚ for a brief few weeks‚ leave the participants red-faced as the PR storm rages and‚ inevitably‚ withers.
Social media goes wild‚ the Twitter detectives suddenly find photos from eight years ago proving beyond doubt someone was doing the dirty on the down low and the hash tags go W.I.L.D.
So whether the financial support Ramaphosa has been providing for students‚ one a 40-year-old male cardiologist‚ is on the up and up or just a little dirty remains to be seen.
If anything‚ the emails prove the 64-year-old Ramaphosa has still got a little something – something that makes the ladies go gaga – and some men will be quietly saluting the veteran politician.
Let’s take a look at five other scandals that caused a stir:
Kebby and the Hotel Room Rendezvous
Twitter went wild in October 2016 when a nude photo of what seemed to be deputy minister of defence and military veterans Kebby Maphatsoe in a hotel room emerged online.
The picture was all the more scandalous because it showed a naked Kebby lookalike bent over a table reading what looked like a newspaper‚ with a pair of shapely legs on a bed in the foreground.
It was never proven if the man in the photo was indeed Kebby‚ who said at the time he had had to take his family for counselling as the emergence of the snap left them traumatised.
Did they perhaps recognise their father and husband?
Jeff Radebe’s firm stance on S.E.X.T.I.N.G
In May the Sunday Times revealed Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe’s now infamous nude picture request to a photographer‚ Siyasanga Mbambani.
Radebe was…firm…on his particular specifications of the picture‚ allegedly asking for a snap of her “c.l.i.t”‚ a possible reference to her clitoris.
Radebe’s spokesman Phillip Musekwa said Radebe “deeply regrets that the exchanges took place in the first place” and he issued an apology.
Gigaba’s honeymoon for three?
This one set Twitter ablaze in May this year when a former girlfriend of the now finance minister Malusi Gigaba took to Twitter to hit back after an interview with Mrs Gigaba in which she spoke of the affair and the woman involved‚ Buhle Mkhize.
Buhle and Malusi’s fling first came to light in 2015 but died down. Buhle‚ spitting mad after seeing Mrs Gigaba talking on TV‚ took to Twitter to voice her anger.
Needless to say‚ it also blew over pretty quickly‚ but kept chins wagging for a week or two.
Mbalula and that one night stand
Former sports minister Fikile Mbalula has also had his share of the scandals.
The current police minister had a lot of explaining to do when it emerged he had an affair with a 27-year-old model.
But he denied she was his girlfriend because they did not enjoy privileges such as going out to the movies together.
In an interview last year‚ he said “This thing was a one night stand and it happened just like that and so it happens that I regret that.”
The Life and Times of President Zuma
Perhaps the strongest proof that sex scandals are not enough to topple political careers is the story of our President‚ Jacob Zuma.
Two years before being elected president of the ANC and eventually of the country‚ Zuma faced a protracted legal battle after he was accused of raping the late Fezekile “Khwezi” Kuzwayo. He was acquitted in 2006.
He denied the rape charge saying the sex was consensual.
His sex life would again make headlines in 2010‚ two years into his presidency‚ when it emerged he had fathered his 20th child with his close friend Irvin Khoza’s daughter‚ Sonono‚ out of wedlock.
After two weeks of the public going batty‚ Zuma apologised saying his actions had placed a lot of pressure on his family and his organisation‚ the ANC.
Sonono however denied having a child with him.
And there you have it. Each of the men mentioned above are still holding a high political office and is proof that‚ while tantalisingly scandalous‚ sex scandals will not topple our leadership anytime soon.