Ramaphosa criticised for 'using family meeting' to put ANC in good light

President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks to ANC supporters at the Siyanqoba rally held at FNB Stadium in Soweto on Saturday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks to ANC supporters at the Siyanqoba rally held at FNB Stadium in Soweto on Saturday.
Image: Getty Images/Chris McGrath

President Cyril Ramaphosa has come under fire after his address to the nation on Sunday, with many accusing him of abusing his power.

Addresses to the nation are usually used by presidents to talk about critical issues. In his address Ramaphosa encouraged the public to vote on Wednesday and also reflected on his administration's tenure.

“My fellow South Africans, this election brings to a close the sixth administration of our democracy. When this administration took office in 2019, our country stood at a turning point. We had endured a decade of corruption and state capture, of weak economic growth and the erosion of our public institutions,” Ramaphosa said.

“Today, we have put that era behind us. We have placed South Africa on a new trajectory of recovery and laid a strong foundation for future growth. We have taken significant steps to reform our economy by implementing a number of reforms that affect various sectors of the economy.”

His speech has sparked a backlash with opposition parties accusing him of using it to campaign for the governing party. 

Reacting to Ramaphosa's televised address, the EFF said: “The party condemns the hijacking of the state broadcaster for partisan purposes. The EFF calls on all South Africans to recognise this abuse of power for what it is.”

The red berets want Ramaphosa investigated for “misuse of the state broadcaster”.

“We demand an immediate investigation into this misuse of the state broadcaster and call for measures to ensure such unethical practices are not repeated in the future.”

Build One South Africa (Bosa) leader Mmusi Maimane echoed the same sentiments.

DA leader John Steenhuisen threatened to take legal action against Ramaphosa.

“The DA will file an application in the Electoral Court against Ramaphosa, for violating the electoral code of conduct. The Electoral Act states that 'no person may abuse a position of power, privilege or influence, including parental, patriarchal, traditional or employment authority, to influence the conduct or outcome of an election',” Steenhuisen said.

“Under the guise of delivering an 'address to the nation' last night, Ramaphosa violated the electoral code when he abused the highest office in the land for flagrant electioneering. Ramaphosa’s manipulation was cynical, calculated and designed to influence the outcome of the election by providing the ANC with unearned airtime not made available to any other party contesting the election.”

Here are some reactions from social media:


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