Does It Matter That Ramaphosa Is At Helm of HIV Council?


Zwelinzima Vavi leading the march to Aids Conference in Durban in 2016

LAST week I asked if we care if a politician is a womaniser and gave examples from around the world which seemed to suggest the public really couldn’t give a toss. http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/really-care-politician-womaniser/

Kobedi, one of UnCensored readers responded at length (see comment in the response to the article “Do We Really Care if a Politician is a Womaniser). But it is this bit that attracted my attention most: “To answer the question you posed, people may not care whether or not a Presidential hopeful is a womanizer or not, but people will care when that person is the Chairperson of an HIV Council”.

But Dear Kobedi, I’d say to you not even the HIV/AIDS activists care. I have not yet heard their response to allegations that the man who leads the HIV Council had an extra-marital affair and may have had several with other women including very young ones. Ramaphosa has refuted claims he’s a blesser but accepted he had an affair with a doctor who was mentioned in the Sunday Independent’s sex allegations.

But leave that aside for now. Do you remember when the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Section27 and a US-based group Gap, marched through the streets of Durban to the opening of the International Aids Conference? They were going to hand-over a memorandum demanding the need for HIV/Aids patients to access antiretrovirals. Do you remember who was right at the front leading the march?

It was non other than trade-unionist Zwelinzima Vavi who had had unprotected sex with an employee whom he head-hunted for nothing else but sexual gain. In 2013, Vavi admitted to have had sex with his subordinate, Jacqueline Phooko, in an office at COSATU’s head office. She said it was rape and he said it was consensual. At the time Vavi said she was an extortionist who was being used by his opponents in COSATU to damage his political career. In other words he too was suggesting it was some form of smear campaign and called her “nopatazana” (woman with low morals) at a rally. She is suing him, COSATU and NUMSA for R4m in damages.

Not even AIDS activists thought the choice of VAVI was ill considdred. Despite his sexcapade being widely reported, they still used him as one of its leading marchers in the fight against AIDS. Completely crass if you ask me. But that’s the way the world works isn’t it? Men with power can literally get away with anything.

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  1. Scurrilous shephard talking about Sugar daddies and HIV & asking people to condomise. Please Ramaphosa – do not throw bricks when you live in a glass building. All these powerful men think they can manipulate the people about money and power. Sies Man Shame shame what kind of leadership do they show.

  2. This is disheartening indeed. Even worse, I fear for what our generations have to go through if we do not unite against change. Even after so much has been revealed, Ramaphosa does not have the spine to own up to his mistakes, instead he calls it a smear campaign and says, ANC leaders should speak and act as one and not turn over each other. How can a respectable leader of the people support such actions and not speak against them? Or are they to take it as a warning from the ‘Deputy Prime Minister’- a position he has maligned? I think it would be best for every one if Ramaphosa admits to his wrong doings.

  3. I completely agree with Kobedi when he says that Ramaphosa is not a good leader for the AIDS campaign. It is akin to a smoker being at the helm of the Health ministry. What has happened is really shameful. Using multiple accounts is also not a sign of great character. To say that this is the deputy president our country is only more disturbing. The lack of action in this matter will not only not bring justice but also prove to be a bad example for the citizens. Sure, why would anyone take patriarchal oppression manifested in hideous forms against women seriously when the leaders of the country find themselves embroiled in such shameful acts. What kind of a country would this become? It is like going back in time. What will this country have to offer for women like me who truly love belonging to it but are ashamed of such acts by its leaders?

    1. Dear Gloria

      We have a litany of stories of leaders found to have girlfriends, having babies with mistresses and not wearing condoms and coming up with claims that having a shower prevents contracting HIV.

      Will this particular one make any difference?



  4. To me this DP saga does not look like ANC it very much has the colours of the enemy. The enemy is aware of the division within the ANC and enjoys it. What would stop them from planting more confusion? They are aware that Ramaposa has the ability to unite ANC thus they must plant confusion. Amabhungane and daily maverick “unearthed” “Gupta” emails what would stop them from unearthing DP’s private life. The apartheid govt. killed Mxenge and turned the blame onto ANC in exile. Many many mishaps were cast on ANC only to find that it was not true. DA wants the change of govt.realising the potential of Ramaposa they hope to hold elections before Zuma leaves office as they think and hope people are against him thus they hope to win the elections. Let’s not forget that DA has a big former NP formation and the sordid deeds of NP were handed over to DA. May I suggest ANC leadership cast the net deeper in search for the perpetrators of the DP scandal.

  5. Generally if we adopt the moralist view of leadership that has this idea of Virgin Mary purity then none of us would qualify for any position including the ones we hold in our varied jobs.

    Marriage is a sham. Always has been and will remain a sham.

    1. Fish Monger, you killed me with that line: “marriage is a sham. Always has been….” I think marriage is asking too much of human beings. We change as we grow – we become different human beings with changing views, and it is too demanding to expect two people who no longer even recognise each other to still be together. SHAM. You made my morning, thank you.

  6. The debate on Cyril Ramaphosa should not be confided to Extramarital it goes much further than that.

    The debate should be around him as leader of anc & Govt, having 3 secret email accounts, that’s double standard, & living a double life! the people that do such are underworld criminals, con mans or secret service agent.

    Which one of these is cyril Ramaphosa ?.

    Cyril has not disputed these accounts as being his! or he having not used them !

    This will further suggest that he is also likely to have multiple secret sim cards, as that’s how the above thugs operate.

    As a africans i can except the Extramarital part as being common within african man.

    I do not condone it, as being right, but accept it as a cultural issue, that was never a secret.

    1. Jeff, Im upset over this story. Im upset because it not only further opens the gap between Comrades. Cyril must lose because ANC faithful believe he cannot deliver what is required to advance economic justice for the majority in South Africa if he loses. He must not resign because of his personal life. The details currently in the public domain can only embarrass the Deputy President to a point where he finds he must resign. On the ground his extra-marital affairs mean nothing.
      I couldn’t agree that it’s cultural to have multiple partners – it happens even in the West – but it highlights the farcical nature of marriage as in one man to one woman until death do you part.
      I have in the past weekend called so many hurtful names including being a Cyril Ramaphosa apologist. I have also been called one of the dirty tricks campaign.


  7. Cde Ramaphosa`s intergrity not just as a family man but as a political party & government leader, has been highly compromised by this saga.

    All those that’s coming to his defense are just being opportunist.

    Cyril Ramaphosa should just apologise unreservedly for the embarrassment caused to the Anc and to the women implicated.

    How can a succesful business man, leader of a political party and government have secret 3 accounts?

    This is done by people in the underground criminal world or secret service of which I would think Cyril Ramaphosa is not party to. This is an act of double standards that cannot be trusted.

    This is what we should be debating!

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