News / South Africa

Citizen Reporter
18 minute read
5 Nov 2018
12:19 pm

The 11 biggest sex scandals involving politicians in SA

Citizen Reporter

From Vavi to Mbalula and even Maimane, it's not just America's Bill Clinton who has had a lot of explaining to do for 'sexual relations'.

Former Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba. File photo

The last few years have provided the headlines with a slew of scandals: from politicians’ sexual habits being exposed to people being publicly shamed for their racist utterances, which, for some, cost them their jobs.

For some, the sex scandals turned out to be untrue, some neither denied nor admitted the truth while some straight up admitted to getting dirty with women other than their wives.

Here are the biggest politicians’ sex scandals that often left most of us stunned, or just scratching our heads.

1. Malusi Gigaba – Home affairs minister 

Gigaba made headlines last week after a sex recording of him, which he claimed had been used in blackmail and extortion attempts against him, was leaked.

He said the recording must have been stolen in a phone hack from 2016 or 2017, and the contents were meant to be private.

The video features the minister in a solo sex act, asking the recipient of the recording to imagine fellating him.

He later apologised for the incident.

“My wife and I have learned, with regret and sadness, that a video containing material of a sexual nature, meant for our eyes only, which was stolen when my communication got illegally intercepted/my phone got hacked, in 2016/17, is circulating among certain political figures.

“This video has been at the centre of a number of blackmail and extortion attempts, dating back to the period immediately following my appointment as minister of finance, on 31 March 2017, all of which I have steadfastly refused to entertain,” he said.

This was however, not Gigaba’s first sex scandal. In one of the most public scandals in the political sphere, both Gigaba’s women, Noma Gigaba and Buhle Mkhize, publicly fought on social media, calling each other names we would rather not mention.

Following the scandal in 2015, Gigaba’s then girlfriend Mkhize, wrote an open letter detailing the affair she allegedly had with the home affairs minister, who seemed to have been struggling to handle his affairs at home.

According to the letter, their affair started in July 2014 after their meeting on Instagram and they “realised they shared the same sense of humour”.

Malusi and Norma Gigaba. Image: Instagram

By the end of July, Gigaba allegedly started sending Mkhize private message that were innocent at first but graduated to flirting.

The exchange of private messages on Instagram quickly escalated to calls and text messages. Gigaba then arranged for Mkhize to visit him in Cape Town, where they spent four days together.

He again gave her cash gifts, one of which was R288 000, revealed an open letter published in Just Curious.

The two women started attacking each other, but eventually apologised to one another. Now it seems the affairs at Gigaba’s home are back to normal (whatever that is) as the two have been posting pictures of each other on Instagram and taking vacations together.

Gigaba found himself in a dilemma after Mkhize took to Twitter to respond to his wife, Norma Gigaba’s  interview with eNCA.

In the interview, Norma opened up about an affair her husband had with New York-based stylist Mkhize about two years ago, saying it had been a difficult time for her family.

Though she was hurt by the affair, Norma said she worried more about her parents.

“I was feeling so bad for my mother and his mother. When they were going to church, people were reading Drum magazine, they were reading papers, and now we have to explain.”

Norma received criticism for the interview, but it seems she invited Mkhize right back in her life, exactly where she had not wanted her to begin with.

‘Mkhize’, who is now married, opened a Twitter account responding to Norma’s interview. She said she was not going to sit by and watch Norma “lie” to the public. In fact, Mrs Gigaba should have refused to speak about the affair, as everyone had moved on from it, said ‘Mkhize’.

“Could you have not declined answering that question @normzmngoma? I get interview requests on it all the time but I decline,” she wrote.

Tweeting the minister directly, the woman calling herself Mkhize further warned Gigaba to keep his wife on a leash or she would reveal more details about their affair.

“Stop her from ever bringing this up again or they’ll hear about December 18, you know me and documenting, I don’t slip @mgigaba.

“Let’s not forget the private jet Joburg to Durban @mgigaba. Shocker !!!. You’ve never met the Guptas angithi?”

‘Mkhize’ said Norma should have just kept quiet and live her life quietly, but now secrets that have long been kept would come out, she threatened.

Read more: Gigaba’s ex-nyatsi Buhle Mkhize hits back at Norma, calls him a ‘very black frog’

2. Cyril Ramaphosa – Deputy President

Joining the growing list of politicians who have been caught with their pants down, entertaining a woman other than their wives, is none other than Ramaphosa.

It emerged earlier this month that Sunday Independent editor Steven Motale was in possession of numerous emails from Ramaphosa’s private email accounts possibly linking him to as many as eight different women.

Questions Motale posed to Ramaphosa asked him about alleged extramarital affairs with eight different women, one of them allegedly a doctor who was also treating him medically.

Ramaphosa’s current wife, Tshepo Motsepe, is also a medical doctor. Ramaphosa filed an urgent application to stop Motale from publishing a story based on questions that were leaked on social media, though it was unsuccessful.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the South Africa Investment Conference 2018. Picture: GCIS


He then admitted that he had an affair with a medical doctor eight years ago. He said  he told his wife about the affair and they were still happily married despite his indiscretion.

Kenny Kunene’s website, Weekly Expose, then went on to publish blurred sexual videos of a young woman who Ramaphosa was allegedly still in an affair with.

He has since been ordered by the South Gauteng High Court to take them down from his website, following the said woman’s application to the court.

Following the publication of the stories, Kunene was shot at while driving a car in Johannesburg. That may have been a coincidence, but Kunene refused to believe that.

Several bullets were allegedly fired at the car, many of which left visible damage on a blue BMW and bullets in the bodywork. Kunene was travelling with a female passenger. No one was injured.

Though some thought it was just a hijacking gone wrong, there was speculation it may have been related to media stories about Ramaphosa.

Kunene added fuel to the speculation after saying that linking the shooting with the stories was the only reasonable thing to do.

Motale has since said he would continue publishing the stories.

Ramaphosa said the social media smear campaign against him represented an escalation of a dirty war against those working to restore the values, principles, and integrity of the ANC and society, and it was likely state agencies and resources were being abused to promote factional political agendas.

In his statement, acting spokesperson Tyrone Seale appeared to verify that the emails were Ramaphosa’s “personal email correspondence” and they were not lawfully obtained.

“There is no doubt that these messages have been circulated as part of a deliberate campaign to smear the person of the deputy president. They are a transparent attempt to distort personal email correspondence that could only have been obtained through criminal means,” said Seale.

3. Jeff Radebe – Minister in the Presidency

Ramaphosa’s brother-in law Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe recently also found himself apologising after being exposed for begging a 29-year-old staffer to send him pictures of her private parts.

“C.l.i.t is requested,” he told the staffer.

Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/ African News Agency (ANA)

This revelation was published by the Sunday Times, which detailed a story of how Siyasanga Mbambani, a presidential photographer, received the SMSes from the 64-year-old struggle veteran. The exchanges reportedly began in 2014.

The paper published samples of the texts, which included Radebe apparently begging her to do more than just send him a picture of herself fully clothed (which she had). She later allegedly obliged with a pic of herself in a bubble bath, and finally exposing her naked breasts.

“Let me see there,” a later text from him requested, with a clarification telling Mbambani that he was interested in her photographing herself further “down”. She claims she refused to do so.

The Sunday Times, however, concluded that Mbambani had been encouraging of the messages from Radebe. She changed her story that she had never sent him explicit pictures of herself when the paper showed her the evidence, saying she may have been intoxicated when she sent the topless photo.

According to another report by Sunday World, this wasn’t Mbambani’s first time exchanging messages with senior ANC members. She appears to have exchanged suggestive SMSes with former ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa and with Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle, who allegedly sent her a plane ticket to fly to East London at one time.

Her exchange with Phosa started in March last after allegedly sending him a message telling him she had dreamt of him and former president Thabo Mbeki. Phosa reportedly replied, telling her he loved that she was dreaming about him, further suggesting that they meet.

Though he confirmed exchanging SMSes with Mbambani, Phosa denied that he was flirting or had an affair with her.

“I never touched her hand or any part of her body. I never even asked to see pictures of her kuku [private parts].”

4. Mbuyiseni Ndlozi – EFF national spokesperson 

FILE PICTURE: Mbuyiseni Ndlozi from the EFF speaks to the Citizen in Braamfiontein, 14 May 2014. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

At the start of 2015, the media was first given the “lead” that EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi had possibly raped a woman (and even had her killed) during the party’s first elective conference in Bloemfontein.

At the time, the story seemed intriguing because Ndlozi had been replaced by an acting spokesperson in the form of Fana Mokoena. When the media requested comment on the allegations, we were told by the EFF in a statement that Ndlozi was not actively involved in his party role while doing work on his PhD thesis.

“Commissar Mbuyiseni Ndlozi is on study leave, working on his PhD thesis, and will come back as head of communications and spokesperson on the 1st of February 2015,” the opposition party said at the time.

He duly did return to his post.

At the time the allegations first surfaced, the party declared it would take the ANC to court over a series of tweets by an account called @ANC_BRANCH that claimed “Commissar Mbuyiseni Ndlozi is attending a court case for rape”.

That Twitter account was soon closed down, however.

The EFF dismissed the claim with contempt in 2015, and said it would “officially go to court to seek compensation for the ANC’s desperate attempt to damage the good revolutionary posture and face of the EFF”.

In July this year, the rumours surfaced again and landed Ndlozi on to the Twitter trends list. Ndlozi tweeted that the cause was “ANC Philistines with uncircumcised hearts” who were trying to tarnish his name. He said lies “have short legs”.

5. Zwelinzima Vavi – Former Cosatu secretary-general 

South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was allegedly embroiled in yet another sex scandal after a former employee of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) allegedly filed a complaint of sexual harassment against him.

The Sowetan reported that the complaint filed by a former cleaner for the Saftu affiliate led to Vavi receiving a warning.

The cleaner reportedly filed the complaint after Vavi’s alleged behaviour caused stress for her.

The complaint was apparently filed in September 2017 leading to an informal investigation against the Saftu general secretary.

This led to Vavi being given a warning and him having to apologise the complainant.

Saftu general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi briefs media with Democratic Municipal and Allied Union of South Africa, (DEMAWUSA), at Johannesburg, 27 September 2018, on first hand account on what exactly happened on that fateful day, and what needs to be done to prevent ant further tragedies of that type”Fire fighters vowed Never again. Picture:Nigel Sibanda

In 2013, Vavi’s sex life came into the spotlight after then 26-year-old Jacqueline Phooko accused the then Cosatu general secretary of raping her.

Vavi denied raping the woman, but admitted to having had a relationship with her, which later led to consensual sex.

According to Vavi, the two started feeling differently about each in October/November 2012. A “spontaneous” relationship, which consisted only of kissing and hugging then developed between the two.

In a statement, he denied going to the woman’s office, grabbing and kissing her and forcefully fondling her private parts and raping her, as she had claimed.

He said he did go to her office, where he kissed her, which eventually led to them “making love”.

“I did lock her office door but only to ensure that no one else could come in. Brief intercourse took place whilst we were standing. At no stage did she ask me to stop,” he said.

Later that day he said he received a “shocking” text message from her saying “that was not consensual…”

The National Union of Metalworkers also released a statement in support of Vavi, and said the rape allegation could not be delinked from “the poisonous, malicious and well-calculated political offensive directed towards destroying comrade Vavi’s political integrity and standing in society”.

The union further accused other Cosatu leaders of coercing the woman to falsify the rape claim.

She later sought about R4 million in damages.

6. Jacob Zuma – President of South Africa 

pa06913211 Former South African president Jacob Zuma appears in the High Court of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 27 July 2018. Zuma faces 16 charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering relating to 783 payments which he allegedly received in connection with the controversial multi-billion Rand arms deal. The case has been ajourned until 30 November 2018. EPA-EFE/PHIL MAGAKOE / POOLPresident Jacob Zuma, who is always in the headlines – not just because he’s the president, but because he seems to like women – made headlines in 2005 after accusations that he had raped the now late Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, known to the public as Khwezi.

Zuma was charged with rape and, on the 8th of May the following year the Johannesburg High Court acquitted him.

This is the case that earned Zuma his nickname “shower head” after he said he had taken a shower after having “sex” with Kuzwayo.

In one of the scandals that will probably continue to haunt him along with the Nkandla and Gupta sagas, four women staged a silent protest holding placards urging us to “RememberKhwezi” during Zuma’s address at the IEC election results centre on August 3. While many commended the act, some organisations such as the ANC Women’s League condemned it, calling it inappropriate.

#RememberKhwezi protesters. Picture: Twitter.

The rape case again came back to haunt the president after Khwezi’s death in August.

Read more: Now we’ll never know who ‘sent Khwezi’ to Zuma’s house – Kunene

The president again made headlines in 2011 after reports that he had impregnated his friend and Orlando Pirates boss Irvin Khoza’s daughter.

In a statement, he confirmed the relationship with Sonono Khoza. He said he had taken responsibility for his actions by doing “the necessary cultural imperatives in a situation of this nature, for example the formal acknowledgment of paternity and responsibility, including the payment of inhlawulo to the family”.

7. Mmusi Maimane – DA leader 

DA leader Mmusi Maimane. Image: ANA file photo

Apart from his criticism of the ANC, Maimane made headlines in 2015 after an email was allegedly sent by a woman who claimed she was one of several colleagues used by men (Maimane included) in the DA as “playthings”.

The email, according to its writer, was a warning to delegates to not put the wrong people in leadership.

Maimane, James Wilmot and Athol Trollip rejected allegations of a culture of crude sexual harassment within the party, reported Drum.

His wife, Natalie, was having none of it as she also publicly supported her husband and said the mud would “simply wash off”.

“16 years of friendship, 10 years of marriage. I know the character of @MmusiMaimane He’s the real deal. The mud will simply wash off,” she tweeted at the time.

8. Fikile Mbalula – Sports minister 

Mr Razzmatazz, Minister of Instagram and part-time Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula made headlines for bedding a then 27-year-old Johannesburg model in 2011.

Reports claimed Mbalula had unprotected sex with the model on at least two occasions in August 2011. The model even claimed she was carrying the minister’s child.

In his response, Mbalula denied that he had sex with the woman, and also called her an “extortionist”.

City Press reported that it was in possession of a series of text messages sent between Mbalula and the model that confirmed the minister had cheated on his wife.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula: File photo: ANA

The messages also contained details of the alleged bitter fight between Mbalula and his lover over whether to abort the unborn baby.

According to the report, Mbalula and the woman met on August 26 at the Houghton Golf Club at a golf day. They reportedly had their first sexual encounter in her ­bedroom without using a condom that same night.

It seemed Mbalula had not had enough, so he reportedly called the model again the following day and met her at an upmarket apartment in Sandton, where they had their second sexual encounter.

His wife apparently forgave him, and now he attends events with her and even flaunts his beautiful wife on social media.

9. Archibald Figlan 

Then DA’s deputy speaker Figlan was found guilty of forcing a staff member to touch him inappropriately during the state of the nation address at the opening of parliament in 2015. He was sentenced to a financial penalty and community service.

Figlan was also ordered to make a donation of R12 000 to crime rehabilitation institute Nicro and do two hours of community service every month for a year.

In the midst of the mixed reactions to his sentence, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said he believed the punishment was sufficient, EWN reported.

Archibald Figlan of the DA during a debate on youth day on June 11, 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa. Members of Parliament debated the importance of Youth Day. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Lerato Maduna).


10. Kebby Maphatsoe – Former MK vets cook

A nude picture of a man who appears to be the deputy minister of defence and military veterans, Kebby Maphatsoe, emerged on Twitter last week.

It could very well also be photoshopped, and there seems to have been a number of such images of late.

It was not clear who took the picture, if it is real, which appears to have been taken in a hotel or indoors.

Picture: Twitter screenshot

Picture: Twitter screenshot

In the picture, thighs, which appear to be those of a woman, can be seen, but her face doesn’t feature in the picture. Also in the picture is a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to the former Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) cook.

The man in the picture doesn’t have a right arm, like Maphatsoe, who lost his after he was shot by soldiers of the Ugandan army during the dark days of the apartheid era.

FILE PICTURE: Deputy Defence Minister Kebby Maphatsoe. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Maphatsoe has neither confirmed nor denied that the man in the picture is him, though he said his family was traumatised and would be sent for counselling.

11.  Blade Nzimande 

Again, in early August, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande made headlines for a picture of a naked man, whose author claimed was the minister. The man in the picture can be seen washing himself from a bucket and is photographed by a young woman on a bed who may also be unclothed.

A clickbait website broke the story that the image was shared on the Facebook profile of a young student reportedly named “Dimpho Kelly”, whom they described as Nzimande’s “blessee” at Wits university.



The photo that has everyone talking on Wednesday.

The photo that had everyone talking last month.

They claimed that she shared the story with a caption about how she was disgusted at the minister’s attitude towards the #FeesMustFall movement, and she decided to take the picture out of revenge.

Nzimande later released a statement about the nude picture. He said that the man in the picture was clearly not him and that it was shared on social media as part of a smear campaign, further calling the act of being in a relationship with a young girl as an “immoral act in our society and must be rejected by all”.

“There is a compromising photo claimed to be mine on social media. That is not me but is part of an attempted smear campaign during this time of upheaval in some of our institutions.”

Read more: Nude picture part of fees ‘smear campaign’ – Blade Nzimande