Cyril Ramaphosa pulls out of PowerFM interview Mzansi has mixed feelings
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”, but without the support of the public, who questioned why he was associating himself with an alleged woman abuser.
Mkhari had assault charges opened against him by his wife, Ipeleng, after an alleged fight over their home in July 2018. Given opened a counter assault charge against his wife, but both cases were later withdrawn in the Randburg magistrate's court as they went for mediation in August.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 said 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.
We have written to @PresidencyZA regarding the Chairman of @Powerfm987, @MkhariGiven's status as the accused in a domestic violence accusation laid with @SAPoliceService— WISE4Afrika #FeministsAtWork #FixingTheCountry (@Wise4Afrika) November 27, 2019
His lack of response on the matter meanwhile encouraging the nation to combat the scourge of GBV is flagrant. pic.twitter.com/jP620HS7s4
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:
If you think Ramaphosa not doing the interview sends a strong message then that message will go above many heads because it might have been good to address the man face to face as opposed to be seen to run away by not addressing the issue.— Albert M?? (@Mabitsela_Ali) November 28, 2019
That is just my view.#RamaphosaOnPOWER pic.twitter.com/D1Cm68dwD0