South Africa


President Cyril Ramaphosa is sick of all your noise

President Cyril Ramaphosa is sick of all your noise
Illustrative image | President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the Cape Town Press Club at Kelvin Grove Club, 15 February 2024. (Photos: GCIS)

Appearing before the Cape Town Press Club on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa had the air of a man deeply tired of all the criticism.

Does President Cyril Ramaphosa actually want to be president any more? Would he be excited to win another term in office, if the ANC holds on to power after the 2024 general elections?

This question was put to Ramaphosa during an engagement with the Cape Town Press Club on Thursday – and it’s not a trivial one. 

At 71, Ramaphosa is some years younger than the likes of Joe Biden and Donald Trump – both of whose fitness to hold office on the grounds of advanced age has recently been questioned.

But though Ramaphosa may be in sharper mental health than either of his American political counterparts, does he retain any real appetite for the job of South Africa’s head of state?

He didn’t answer the question directly. Instead, Ramaphosa paid tribute to the “new and novel way” in which the ANC is vetting candidates for public office, specifying that he had recently been before a 10-person interview panel which grilled him for two hours on, among other things, his personal financial situation.

“I was rather pleased with that because it showed the renewal process in my party,” Ramaphosa mused.

If the ANC holds on to its majority, Ramaphosa heads back to the Union Buildings.

“I will do precisely that, if you don’t mind,” the President said with a smile that masked a sense of pointed peevishness that emerged at various points during Thursday’s engagement.

Growing defensiveness

As colleagues have pointed out, Ramaphosa’s recent refrain – while giving the State of the Nation Address, for instance – has been the phrase “Whether you like it or not”, which he directs at sceptical critics. Whether you like it or not, life has improved for ordinary South Africans under an ANC government, and so on.

The phrase suggests a kind of growing defensiveness on Ramaphosa’s part, which was equally evident while he was taking questions from journalists – itself a vanishingly rare occasion – on Thursday.

Asked what he made of NCOP deputy speaker and ANC MP Sylvia Lucas’ comment in Parliament this week that load shedding is “not the end of the world”, Ramaphosa replied: “I don’t think she meant it.”

When this response elicited hoots of incredulity from the audience, mostly non-journalists, Ramaphosa retorted: “Either I am able to answer the question, or I just keep quiet.”

On South Africa’s approach to the ICJ over Israel: “We were heavily criticised… We were told our cause or case was baseless… We were pummelled with criticism.”

Concerning the mysterious Russian ship that docked in Simon’s Town in December 2022: “We were criticised over the arrival of Lady R here.”

When my colleague Peter Fabricius pressed Ramaphosa after the event’s end over the ANC’s participation in Moscow’s upcoming “neocolonialism” conference, he was told by the president – again in a jocular fashion, but perhaps with a slight edge – to “relax”.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Fikile Mbalula heads to Moscow for forum on combating Western ‘neocolonialism’

The general impression one was left with was of a politician who is tired, frustrated and increasingly impatient about making nice with his government’s seemingly endless critics.

This again begs the question: Does Cyril Ramaphosa truly want to return as president of South Africa?

Read more in Daily Maverick: Vladimir Putin justified Adolf Hitler’s invasion of Poland; South Africa must denounce him

Bullish about ANC electoral chances

“The ANC expects to emerge victorious” against all comers in the upcoming elections, Ramaphosa assured his audience. (He refused to be drawn on the likely election date.)

He mentioned several times, with a touch of either bemusement or amusement, that there are expected to be somewhere around 350 parties contesting this year’s poll.

Among them, in a wonderful Shakespearian twist, will be the new political outfit of Ramaphosa’s former boss: Jacob Zuma’s MK party, which is already performing surprisingly well in parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

Is Ramaphosa worried?

No. Because, despite “the predictions of many in media circles, political analysts” and so forth, the ANC still has it in the bag.

“You shall see me back at [this] very position,” Ramaphosa predicted. It looked a bit like the spirit was leaving his body.

As for Zuma: “I regard him as another political opponent.” Albeit one who knows where every ANC body has been buried for the last 60-odd years.

Subject of Israel brings out the statesman

It was a sign either of the rarified setting – Cape Town’s swanky members-only club, Kelvin Grove – or the atmosphere of the times that a great deal of the engagement focused on South Africa’s foreign policy.

Ramaphosa has sometimes seemed like a politician most fulfilled when occupied with international statecraft. This was true for his Thursday Q&A, too.

In response to questions about load shedding, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and the permanently-in-limbo National Health Insurance Bill, Ramaphosa trotted out boilerplate ANC copy and increasingly implausible assurances – although he appeared to walk back his Sona claim that load shedding would end imminently when he said he could not “set a date” for the end of the electricity crisis.

It was in reply to an emotional rant from a member of the public about the position of the South African Jewish community since the 7 October Hamas attacks on Israel that Ramaphosa most seemed to hit his presidential stride.

“I have been very clear in condemning the actions taken against Israelis on October 7,” the president said, describing the Hamas attacks as “abhorrent” and “inhuman”.

He continued: “We have equally condemned what we see as a disproportionate response from the state of Israel.”

Ramaphosa’s peevishness returned when he told the woman in question that he had “spoken out – if you cared to pay attention to it – against any form of attack against South African Jews”.

But he was sober and statesmanlike for the most part on this topic, stressing his “deep respect for our Jewish compatriots” while remaining “concerned about discrimination against Palestinians”.

It was a glimpse of President Cyril Ramaphosa circa 2018: the one who caused even the most ANC-sceptical pundits to briefly set aside their concerns in the hope that this could be a truly nation-uniting political figure.

But the glimpse was fleeting. 

The president on display for the rest of Thursday’s engagement was a man who looked – to put it colloquially – well and truly over it. And by the signs of his reception, so are many of his countryfolk. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Con Tester says:

    Ramaposeur’s “Tintswalo” stunt in parliament today would fool only the basest of starry-eyed suckers. Notwithstanding his haughty, grin-painted display of magnanimous victory, 30-odd cherry-picked successful youngsters do not represent upwards of 5-million of their peers. Only a clueless twit would think this was a convincing refutation of his detractors’ main criticisms about the SONA yarn he so smugly spun.

    The more the man speaks his transparent shams, the more of a shifty conman polyptician he reveals himself to be. For that reason, I, for one, do not credit him with anywhere near enough integrity to bow out on any principled grounds.

    [Tangentially, “beg the question” is the direct old(er) English translation of the Latin term “petitio principii,” which is a logical fallacy wherein a conclusion is taken for granted in the premisses (e.g., “The Bible is true because it says so in the Bible,” which can only be a valid argument if one accepts a priori that the Bible is true—the very thing the argument seeks to establish). The word “question” here is to be read as “the thing under discussion,” rather than as a string of words meant to elicit a response. The phrase does not mean the same as “raise the question” or “prompt the question,” both of which afford much the same word economy as the term under scrutiny. It has been misused so much that dictionaries, particularly US dictionaries, now define it—incorrectly, according to its aforesaid etymology—to include the meaning “raise / prompt / provoke &c. the question” that resulted from its pervasive misuse.]

    • Denise Smit says:

      Ramaphosa and ANC/EFF/MK kie are seen to be able to lie with eyes wide open and twist fact according to their objective. His sarcasm is cruel as the Jewish lady experienced it

    • Errol Price says:

      Congratulations .The improper use of the phrase ” .. to beg the question.. ” has always irritated me intensely.
      As for Ramaphosa he has always appeared to me to be little more than a charlatan and a grifter.

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    You call it a rant, but I saw it as a tough Jewish woman venting her frustration at Pandor’s love affair with Hamas. And indeed she got the loudest applause of the afternoon when she reminded Ramaphosa how Jews had played a large part in the ANC’s struggle.
    Ramaphosa seemed at his most relaxed, happy and smiling ( and reluctant to get back to the real ANC South Africa ), when he was surrounded for selfies by his excited white audience, none of whom will vote for him.

    • Bob Dubery says:

      That card is overplayed. SOME Jews were indeed involved in the struggle. Other members of that faith were complaining about the “schwartzers” every chance they got.

      Bram Fischer was a member of the SACP and did work on the ANC’s internal codes. Muff Anderson was involved in weapon smuggling for MK. David Webster was involved in anti-apartheid activities and was murdered. Jeanette Schoon was first banned, then assasinated by Apartheid spooks. Does that put all white people automatically on the right side of history? Of course not.

      Some Jews, some white people, some Afrikaners took the side of the ANC and/or SACP during the struggle. That doesn’t mean that ALL of us did. We don’t get to bask in the reflected light of those heroes, who weren’t seen as heroes in real time but as collaborators with evil forces.

      • Sydney Kaye says:

        Correct. But the opposite is also true. It does show that Jews, as a group, were not an enemy of the struggle. And I think her point was that they don’t deserve to be slandered as Pandor is inciting. She represents the state notwithstanding she is Muslim, with an obsessive interest in Israel, to the extent that the hypocrocy with respect to the Russian colonial attack on Ukraine is lost on her.

        • Ismail Lagardien says:

          Again, Sydney. Whites benefited from that system. You’re presenting post hoc arguments, to place a white minority with the minority of settler colonialists, on the right side of history. Terribly expedient and misleading. Don’t gaslight Pandor. That she is a Muslim has nothing to do with her pointing out injustice. The Russian attack against Ukraine was/is wrong in so many ways. Not mentioning that ever time we write about Israeli butchery and their final solution is dishonest. AGAIN I don’t represent Muslims or Islam, nor any religion for that matter.

        • Bob Dubery says:

          I don’t see antisemitic talk from this government. They are not fans of the Israeli government, and they are hardly alone in regarding the current offensive from Israel as being disproportionate. There are some that equate any criticism of Israel with anti-semitism, and of course the Israeli establishment very much like to see that particular line blurred.

          When we had the TRC, the then chief Rabbi, Cyril Harris – a decent man – stood before that commission and apologised on behalf of the South African Jewish community for that community, as a whole, not doing enough to stand against an evil system.

          “One of the great evils of apartheid was that it desensitised decent people to the suffering of millions. Other reasons could be cowardice and plain fear. Apartheid was a very repressive regime. The Jewish community in South Africa, confesses a collective failure to protest against apartheid.”

          Back in the 70s and 80s, very few in white SA regarded Ronnie Kasrils or Joe Slovo as any sort of hero, and I include the Jewish community in that. They were insulted as “k****ir boeties”. They were communists (when that was a bad word), terrorists and agents of an evil force.

          Some Jews certainly took an anti-Apartheid stand. So did some Afrikaans people. So did some English speaking white South Africans. They weren’t seen as heroes in their own communities, but 30 years later they get remembered when a bit of revisionism is convenient.

          • Ismail Lagardien says:

            Thanks Rob.

          • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

            I find the term “disproportionate response” interesting. In this context I can’t help wondering what response I might consider proportionate had my civilian wife had been raped and murdered and my child incinerated.

            What is considered the “proportionate” response in such a scenario exactly?

    • Ismail Lagardien says:

      Jews played a large part? Really, so did Hindus and Muslims, but I don’t see reason why we have to sell basic principles of justice and fairness. The Jewish community in South Africa have always been among privileged white people like Anglicans, Methodists, Catholics who were or are and remain privileged. It is disingenuous to now claim any of the above are not white and privileged, but Methodists catholics or Jews ergo they are all eternally innocent as they always have been. We (I certainly do) find serious offense and horrific human rights abuses in Muslim-majority countries WE CRITICISE THEM (I certainly do) heavily, and Muslims also contributed to the struggle. And no, I am not a spokesperson for Muslims or Islam. The Israelis, not Jews, are committing some of the worst crimes against humanity since 1945. I don’t agree with everything Rebecca wrote in this essay; we fought for and live in a democracy. But I will defend her to the end. It is just wring and deceitful to hide behind Christian Muslim Hindu or Jewish identity “because they were part of the struggle”. Muslims, Hindus, Christians are not exceptional, eternally innocent and incapable of doing bad things.

      • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

        I would be very interested to know which religion is responsible for the most violence and deaths globally in its name.

        Without mentioning names, my reading provides me with the sense that there is a clear global religious champion in the heavyweight killer category, and also that it is time its adherents took ownership of this honestly and started teaching cultural and religious tolerance.

    • Geoff Coles says:

      It’s good to know Pandor is retiring, Mrs Zuma too and others of that ilk…..Blade naturally and Gwede….both extruding incompetence and corruption… leading members of the SACP too, probably no coincidence.

  • Kevin Venter says:

    With every changing of the guard, the moral fibre has been steadily declining. I will admit that Ramaphosa was at least a slight step up from the trainwreck of Jacob -Showerhead – Zuma. With each new president comes a further deepening of all the crises (yes plural) and further decay of the moral fibre of government to the point that the corruption has pretty much emptied the coffers. Take a look around at the state of the all the infrastructure and that tells you that the ANC is a Government who don’t have the first idea about actually Governing. God help South Africa if Julius and his corrupt cronies ever get into power because it would quite literally be a case of… “You think the ANC knows how to steal money, here hold my beer”. What an absolute tragedy, but why would anyone expect any different? All you need to do is look North to every other African country and the abysmal state that they are in, and then you have the clear picture of where South Africa is GOING to end up. It saddens me, the people of South African need to wake to themselves. Mass action removed the Apartheid government, why then are there no mass action protests at the current state of the country? Seems those protests in the late eighties and early nineties were merely a front to not have a white government in power. So the current regime can do what they want, steal what they want and all is good because they are not a white government. Hypocrisy at its best.

    • Bob Dubery says:

      I disagree. More got done under Zuma. There was a massive and successful roll out of HIVs (OK, after Mbeki that could only get better). There was money put into rural health care. People in the coloured communities in the South of Johannesburg, living in Community Development housing got new geysers and substantial maintenance work done. I am mindful of the fact that one political leader inherits momentum, and inertia, from his predecessor, but there are no signs of anything improving anywhere under the current leadership.

    • ST ST says:

      The apartheid government had to be removed and you know why. Or perhaps you disagree with the many reasons supplied locally internationally as to why apartheid was bad.

      Seems to me the black majority have several paralysing issues. The lack of education in politics etc (that was intentional by the apartheid system). Disappointment and disillusionment as to why and how they are once celebrated liberators have turned on them. Lack of trust in a white majority government given that some like you are unrepentant. The ‘truth and reconciliation’ agenda yielded very little truth and reconciliation. Having too many corrupt politicians with meaningless ‘manifestos’. These are just a few that I’m aware of.

      • Sydney Kaye says:

        Too much overthinking. Japan was nuked and humiliated, Germany was flattened, Eastern European countries were under the communist dictatorship for 45 years, yet in all these examples it took far less than 30 years to build the most successful economies. But then again maybe they didn’t focus on excuses, resentment, race and blame. Mayby they took the route of building not plundering. Maybe they learned the lessons of the past and ditched command economies instead of calling each other comrade and pursuing a failed ideology.

        • Michael Thomlinson says:

          I can only agree with you Sydney. Later success stories are also seen in countries in the east, like Vitenam who were also under communist dictatorships but have managed to build strong economies after getting rid of hard line communists. So we have to ask the question: why are we struggling so much? Is it because our leaders are so corrupt (but I am sure there is corruption even in successful countries) or has it to do with morals or education? SA being the most industrialized country in Afric with (originally) the best infrastructure should be flying but we are not. Why?

    • Skinyela Skinyela says:

      Mass action was employed to remove the apartheid government for the simple reason that there was no universal suffrage, today you have the vote.

      and no, that government was not removed because of being white, but because the system of apartheid is immoral and a crime against humanity.

      • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

        I agree, but let’s be properly honest. The ANC government is likewise immoral and commits crimes against South African humanity every day, likely resulting in the deaths of more of our brothers than apartheid ever did.

        I am not justifying apartheid in any way, but we need to be properly honest with ourselves.

  • Ben Hawkins says:

    Enough damage done, hamba

  • Bryan Macpherson says:

    “President Cyril Ramaphosa is sick of all your noise”.
    Well Mr President, here is some news: South Africans are sick of you and your corrupt ANC cadres!

  • Garth Kruger says:

    He is sick of the noise? Does he know how sick we are of his party and the crime, corruption, failed SOEs, load shedding, failed municipalities, zero service delivery, joblessness, emasculated armed forces, collapsing health care, air force with no planes, cadre deployment, potholes, empty promises and general BS …. the list goes on. The man has turned out to be a huge disappointment in the office. Period.

  • Iam Fedup says:

    Sorry, Mr. President, but the solution to your dilemma is rather obvious: stop behaving like a dithering fool, saying stupid things, appointing crooked and incompetent morons to carry out critical work, and generally failing your people, and we will leave you alone. Take it to leave it.

  • Wayne Habig says:


  • Vincent L says:

    Could it be possible that Mr Ramaphosa is purposefully scuppering his own, and the ANCs chances at the polls? That he has realized that after four years he has been unable to root out the evil within the ANC. That maybe it is his way of offering an out for SA to vote the ANC out of a majority?

  • Well shame if he is tired of the criticism but it’s his own fault and if he is no longer up to the task then he should step down and retire. Furthermore, 350 parties contesting this election is a farce and just another way the ANC gets to dilute the voting pool. There should be no more than 5 parties contesting an election.

  • Warren Wilbraham says:

    Energy and enthusiasm seem to have left him. Wishing he had Jacinda Ardern’s self awareness and decides not to come back, irrespective of the election result. Would he lead an opposition……don’t think so.

  • Basil Skopelitis says:

    As much as the ANC president is tiered of our negativity we are equally as tired of his and the ANC lies,

  • Francoise Phillips says:

    It seems all Ramaphosa is really good for is introducing the state’s free flavoured condoms to the people and looking like a sleep walking statesman. The ANC is a criminal organisation with corrupt cadres carefully deployed to every branch of the state and judiciary to ensure the ANC can continue robbing the nation and selling off our mines and resources to itself and it’s Chinese, Iranian and UAE partners in crime. African lives are worthless to the ANC.

  • Betsy Kuhn says:

    Dear Mr Ramaposa – the ANC has been in control for the past 20 years – where were you?? When are you guys going to stop blaming the pervious regime, all you do i splay the racism card and playing Mandela card when it suits you…wake up pplease take of your sunny glasses and see what the ANC is doing to SA – Breaking it down with NON EXISTENT SERVICES – NO DECENT STATE HOSPITALS – NO ELECTRICITY – MUST I CARE ON???

  • Prav Tulsi says:

    I would rather vote ANC than eff.

  • lloydowen43 says:

    Ramaphosa’s reaction to journalists’ criticism appears to indicate that he is out of ideas, and can only respond with platitudes and false promises, in the hope that there are still enough ignorant followers, who are not aware of the true state of the country, and who will still give him and his Cadre comrades the benefit of the doubt, and vote ANC.

  • Trenton Carr says:

    Zero self awareness at all.

  • Norman Cooper says:

    “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”
    ― Abraham Lincoln

  • Trenton Carr says:

    We are sick of his parties noise.

  • Patricia Beukes says:

    He may be sick of all the noise, but we are sick and tired of the fact that this country is now in ruin, that there is load shedding, that people have lost their livelihoods, that there is no service delivery, that crime is OFF THE CHARTS, that all the SOE’s are in collapse, that there are NO jobs out there, that we have sewage problems on the beaches and indeed in our STREETS!! Should I go on, because I can, but that would take me all day!!!!

  • Graham Swan says:

    The usual….blah, blah, blah….someone who can never answer ANY question honestly and straight…always wiggling around everything and spewing……

  • Steve Price says:

    And we are tired of the rather patronising articles of Rebecca Davis. As usual she petulantly criticises just about anyone and everyone besides the usual digs at this or that. If she declared her self party number 351 for HER seat in parliament perhaps she would forced to declare HER manifesto not just for SA but for the whole world. Would make interesting reading. ( Little word of advice about her writing style
    : the word “rant” is so passe. Its real significance is the means to dismiss in patronising fashion an opponent’s argument which is expressed rather emotionally with out addressing the argument.

    • Ken Meyer says:

      Au contraire, we love Rebecca Davis. She single-handedly brought down the useless VC at UCT.

      • Steve Price says:

        Hallelujah At least she has done something useful. I sincerely doubt whether it was “single handedly “ Uncritical hero worship of anyone with power to influence eg politicians and commentators,because everyone has faults,is never a good idea Here is one example :Jan Smuts a huge intellect was one of the greatest statesmen of the 20th century. The conventional more left wing view of him now is that he failed to appreciate the presence and importance of
        pigmented people and argued with Gandhi over his so called racism and his mind was so diverted to overseas affairs ( probably true ) and he only got as far as attempting to unite Brit and Boer. But apparently if you go into what he wrote eg to Gandhi he actually thought about how to include blacks coloured and Indians in the unification of Southern Africa and there after but he realised that although it should happen it was a completely impossible task for him to achieve at the same time with all his other problems. He was also an Afrikaner and felt that the Afrikaners would suffer and disappear in the upheaval required. He was trapped in the popular ideas of his ;ather like Nats such as Kobie Coetzee and no doubt more enlightened members of the ANC
        I believe that one of Davis’ faults is that she can’t seem to appreciate the effect of time on popular politics. I appreciate Davis does have the problems of writing articles with current popular appeal and being read in media which will sell.

    • Geoff Coles says:

      She walks on air don’t you know, reckons she is superior to all!

  • Hans Strydom says:

    When the expectation is high, the lack of performance is double the disappointment. At the end of the day, he is the ANC. And their ideas and governance are exceptionally poor and ultimately bankrupt. It is, unfortunately, an embarrassment that they have and are continuing to stay in power, with still the highest support in the country. That speaks volumes about the majority of South Africans, you support a totally corrupt and inept government.

    • Stand For Truth says:

      Ja Hans
      How we long for the National Party,
      They had high performance, be it for 7% of the population.
      They did leave the country bankrupt, but at least the corruption was done cleverly.
      We colonisers are superior, we know how to subjugate,manipulate and steal. Oh and off course complain:)

  • waleed abrahams says:

    If a man cannot lead himself how can he expect to lead others

  • Carsten Rasch says:

    “whether you like it or not” – who exactly is the “you”? is it the media? or perhaps the not-so-black demographic that he singles out, more and more. How many times has he mentioned “apartheid” in the last year or two? What does he mean when he talks about “my people” or “our people”? Somehow, I don’t think I’m included. “Our” president is definitely not ours, as in all of us. Whether we like it or not.

    • Ismail Lagardien says:

      Watch (Klepper)interviews with MAGA crazies. They claim Biden is not their president. In the UK there are thousands of people who say Sunak is not their president and point to the fact that he was not elected to position of prime minister.

      • Joe Soap says:

        There are differences. Biden’s name appears on a ballot, voted for by a majority of voting Americans. Ramaphosa’s name does not appear on any ballot. Only voted for a majority of kleptocratic ANC MP’s.

  • Stuart Kaptein says:

    If the Prez is tired of the critics and the criticism, maybe he and his bottom feeders should actually be working for the country that they are supposed to serve, and doing things in such a way that they don’t bring such criticism… simple really. Just stop being useless and you might get some positive feedback.

  • Deon Schoeman says:

    He should have stepped down a long time ago ….everyone is SICK of his lies !!!!

  • Z N says:

    Complement him all you like. The dirty dollar man, we are voting him out unless his DA marriage plan saves him, which will be short lived by the way, that marriage won’t last even a year. We are tired we want a developmental state and leaders who purposefully use the state power like in China to change and develop the nation.

    Not corrupt thugs who hide dirty dollars under matrasses and sofas.

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      Yebo baba – why not give our country to China and eat the gravy, while it lasts. Sounds like a great plan – not.

      Have pride in your own people. We have the skills right here at home, we just need honest ethical non-racial leaders. Why don’t you rather work to find those leaders than trying give our country away to people whose language you can’t even speak.

  • Henry Henry says:

    With the seemingly utterly corrupt Mashatile eagerly waiting in the wings…

  • Soil Merchant says:

    Then stop giving us reason to criticise!

  • Rae Earl says:

    The most disgusting aspect of this whole charade is Ramaphosa’s insistence that the ANC has done fantastic work for 30 years. Bullshit! It did OK until mega crook Jacob Zuma came along and stuffed it all up with staunch support from his ANC comrades in parliament. His deputy in all that time replaced him as president in 2017 and then the unbelievable happened. Cyril Ramaphosa did a better job of screwing the country up in 5 or 6 years than Zuma was able to do in 9 years. Some president!

  • Greg de Bruyn says:

    My view on the 350 political parties is that it’s a direct consequence of the perversion of the recent law-change that permits independents to contest the elections. Across the political spectrum, parties were careful to protect their advantage by setting unreasonably high entrance requirements for independents. If the odds are stacked against you in your quest for a seat in parliament, it makes sense to take the gap and form a party instead – lower deposits, fewer signatures, wider vote exposure, etc. Almost all the tiny new parties are hoping for a single parliamentary or provincial seat at best, so they’re effectively independents.

  • Ken Meyer says:

    This was his last SONA for sure. I will give R10,000 to Gift of the Givers is Ramasofa is still president after the election. Good riddance.

  • Peer Iuel says:

    Well Cyril, we are gatvol of your lies, incompetence and totally corrupt leadership! If you’re so sick of the noise first reflect on why there is all this noise then, I am sure you will do the honourable thing and resign; you and your cadres are useless!

  • picnmap says:

    This is not criticism but fact: The government has been sitting on more than 30 million hectares of land that should have been available for agricultural education and agriculture! This alnd will help the previously disadvantaged and create much needed employment!

    • Arved von Oettingen says:

      It is about time we stopped using the phrase, “previously disadvantaged”. As Cyril so carefully explained in his SONA speech, the “Born Free’s” so adequately equipped, (not!), by his government to thrive and flourish in the world today, have it all going for them, (not!). You can not be Born Free, and at the same time “previously disadvantaged”. Through the ANC government, we have all become the “Currently Disadvantaged”.

  • FarFrom TheCrowd says:

    Shame. The civil servant is tired of being criticised is he? Not too tired to pull a salary for not keeping his promises though is he? Job too much for you? Too much to remember all your false promises? Do us all a favour and resign. Go away. Stay away. Do not come back. Go fondle your dollars in your couch. And take your money grabbing idiot cronies with you. And don’t forget to switch off the lights when you leave (oh wait, it’s already off, pffft).

    But it is not entirely Counterfeit Cyril’s fault. Citizens do get the government they deserve. Maybe if citizens are not so easily swayed and actually choose a political class who cares more for the constitution and the rule of law for all, then maybe citizens will actually get leaders who care. And maybe one day we will also get reporters again who actually push for the answer and not just accept the platitudes of these inept idiots at face value. And maybe one day pigs will fly.

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    You forget to mention one thing . In his quaint recounting of a recent visit to his childhood school in Limpopo he remarked “it was in better condition then than it is now “. What a confession. And how does that reconcile with his recitations of ANC successes.

  • John Strydom says:

    My impression was that Phala Phala was the final blow.
    This man is simply going through the motions and I can’t fathom what continues to driving this hand-puppet.

  • Andrew Paul says:

    Your wish to see regime change lead to you pushing your DA-Freedom Front agenda You are serving your racist colonial masters very well. How sad.

  • Ken Meyer says:

    Overplayed? Well, let’s see, in order of appearance:
    Jack Hodgson (made the first bombs for MK), Wolfie Kodesh (taught Mandela about urban warfare), Joe Slovo, Rusty Bernstein (Rivonia trialist), Michael Harmel, Harold Wolpe (Rivonia trialist), Ruth First, Lazar Sidelsky (gave Mandela his first job in a law firm), Ben Turok, Bob Hepple(Rivonia trialist) , Ruth First (assassinated), Albie Sachs (lost arm), Rowley Arenstein, Ray Simons, Raymond Suttner, Ronnie Kasrils, Arthur Goldreich (Rivonia trialist), Dennis Goldberg (Rivonia trialist), Jimmy Kantor (Rivonia trialist), Rick Turner. Lawyers: Joel Joffe, Arthur Chaskalson. Actively opposed to apartheid: Helen Suzman et al in the PFP, the Menells (tutored Ramaphosa as a student), Nadine Gordimer, Ina Perlman, Tony Leon, Helen Zille, Jonathan Shapiro.
    Apologies if I left anyone out.

  • helenmononela says:

    President Ramaphosa find things being upside down and it will take him years to bring everything together. His challenge is not to be fast in taking decision and that it’s putting him in a negative image to the nation. Let’s pray for the Situation to change for the best.

  • Norman Sander says:

    Failed State entities, bankrupt municipalities under ANC control and a shrinking economy along with a shrinking JSE, expanding unemployed and offshore investors taking their money elsewhere, all tell a story. It is not a story of success.
    Criticism is valid and if its too hot in the kitchen, he should leave. Perhaps the voters will assist that decision, lets wait and see.

  • Does anyone care what he says or thinks anymore??? Whether we like it or not, Politicians will spin everything to suit their own agenda. As the old joke goes: “How do you know if a Politician is lying? Their lips are moving. And the ruling party may have it in the bag, because the electorate don’t vote with common sense or reason… And if the ruling party lose support, they may do a deal with the devil… and then we’re even further in the dark ages.

  • Malcolm Dunkeld says:

    It looks as if the owner of the squeaking wheel has finally run out of grease.

  • Tim Parsons says:

    A man of platitudes and rhetoric, he looks at a statesman in the mirror but his reflection, in SA, is one a man with no spine, or appetite to move away from the ANC constitution, which is totally archaic and unfit for purpose in good governance. I think you saw a sad man, he know’s he is a vacuous shadow with no purpose for South Africans.

  • Rob Currie says:

    South Africans are doing OK in spite of, not because of the ANC!

  • tlazarus57 says:

    Thank you for what looks like a factual report with little bias.

  • stefan.vivier says:

    Not an easy job for anyone.

  • Noel Soyizwaphi says:


    Israel is nothing but a tool in America’s attempts to balance its influence against competing interests, namely Russia, in the Middle East. That is the basis of USA-Israel relationship. Israel is a strategic ally for the USA, relations with the former strengthens the latter’s influence in the Middle East. The military foothold offered to it by Israel, is enough to justify USA’s military spend to Israel. USA’s quest for greatness is blinding it and is unable to notice groundswell in global geopolitics. America can continue being great while distancing itself from countries with genocidal tendencies. But then, it is not the first time USA, based purely on own interests, supported an apartheid regime. Not so long ago, South Africa by law, practiced a system of apartheid on its citizens and when the UN voted on an embargo to force it to abandon that system, USA was leading five powerful nations that voted against that UN resolution because, according to USA, SA had in it 4 million customers who were civilized, educated, industrious and reliable as well as15 million others in labour reserves, who couldn’t even organize themselves to form unions, for the production of American goods. It is not surprising that those very countries, led by USA, are today supporters of Israel in its war against Hamas, with no regard to the ordinary Palestinians who are being killed, tortured, injured and displaced. This war has nothing to do with October7, because Israel has been settling its citizens in Palestinian territories along the Gaza strip long before October 7, despite pressure from the international community to desist. Israeli actions in this war, the flattening of the Gaza, is indicative of a regime preparing for further occupation of Palestinian land. Biden’s actions here will cost him and as the Palestinian issue will not just vanish, history is going to judge him harshly. Enkosi

  • Steve Mallach says:

    “Concerned about discrimination against Palestinians.” How many Palestinians are there in South Africa? The ANC is not the moral champion it claims to be. His government’s ICJ case and the ANC’s revitalised finances, as well as the glossing over of a Russian ship docking at a naval dock all need attention.

  • Cyril (take note, Not honored President) we are sick of the looting, corruption and lack of any drive to make SA better for all. We will do it ourselves. See it happening in many little towns. We have much backbone still in SA. Please move along and out of our way.

  • Francois le Roux says:

    The “Ramaphosa is tired” narrative is completely fabricated by the media. I only – and still – see his characteristic patience, decency and thoroughness, speaking in plain language to all, not only the elite. Ever heard of the story of the tortoise and the rabbit? Remember, he’s been written of for years now. And it’s all turned out to be wrong.

  • Ella de Beer says:

    Dear Ed,

    First of all, he should stop blaming apartheid, for everything going on in this once beautiful country. Stop telling people to never forget, people should never forget the way things are NOW. It’s under your parties rule that things have gone from bad to worse. It’s under your parties rule that we are stuck with millions of foreigners eating the money our SA citizens should be earning. It’s under your parties rule that we are billions in debt to other countries. It’s under your parties rule that the lights cannot be kept on. And now, your party promises that by March everything will be ok, we will have electricity. Strange though, that it will most probably coincide with election time. It’s under your parties rule that billions have been stolen in state capture. Not to mention your own little stint with the dollars stuffed in your couch! Promises, promises, promises. But sadly, many will fall for it yet again. And many will reap the disappointment of finding out after the fact that it was all just a bunch of hot air. Now put that in your pipe and smoke it Mr president.

  • Louise Roderick says:

    I used to think Zuma was an odious man but it is apparent I didn’t know the definition of odium- it comes in a far worse form.

  • prdutoit86 says:

    So sad and disappointing how the man who like you say instilled so much hope in 2018, ended up being the same lame duck he was as vice president. Begs the question, why did he want the top job in the 1st place? Was it all just about having all the power?
    Although he didn’t end up being the man I thought I voted for, the alternatives were unthinkably worse.

  • Nick Griffon says:

    And we are sick of his

  • Wayne Kitimoto says:

    Ramposie just does not have balls. What else is there to say other than he is only in power to help continue the pillaging of all resources while Zuma is ready for round two. O wait. Zuma is ready. Perhaps they colluded to bring about the demise of the ANC to bring about a far more radical party to really speed up “economic transformation”. The last thing that Zuma is, is stupid. And the onky thing that Ramposie is, is a puppet. The no balls thing should now make more sense.

  • Citizen X says:

    “You shall see me back at [this] very position,” Ramaphosa predicted

    We dont need you or want you back, please just leave the presidency! You a man with no plan, no vision, no muster, no charisma and absolutely no backbone. All talk and no walk. You will be remembered as an absolute disappointment who got rich from doing nothing worthwhile. One thing you great at is putting us to sleep.

  • virginia crawford says:

    Good, because we are sick of lies, corruption, crime, incompetence, crumbling infrastructure and a collapsing economy. Gee, if the only blot on my personal landscape was criticism, how lucky I would be. Poverty and unemployment are rampant. Ramaphosa was a hero in the 80s, but useless is the politest comment I can manage now.

  • The real Ellon Must says:

    70% of white South Africans over the age of 48 voted to end apartheid. (Under 18’s could not vote) South Africans under the age of 30 were born under an ANC government It is about time that SA realizes that it can not blame “whites” and “apartheid” for its woes, but has to look at the looters in charge.

  • Jon Quirk says:

    President may be sick, but not even a tiny fraction as sick as the long-suffering taxpayers who have seen and experienced the leading cabal of the ANC, steal billions, debase and make worthless trillions, all because of the ignorance, self-servingness and incompetence of the Pres and his gang of cohorts.

    Exactly how many, Mr President, named in the Zondo Commission, have been held to account?

    Zero, we all thought so, so stop the pathetic self-pity, and DO SOMETHING !!!

  • Erik van Heerden says:

    What a utter disappointment did Ramaphosa turned out to be….

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Feeling powerless in politics?

Equip yourself with the tools you need for an informed decision this election. Get the Elections Toolbox with shareable party manifesto guide.