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By Narissa Subramoney

Deputy digital news editor

Ramaphosa ‘not blind’ to Sisulu’s Phala Phala swipe

'The president has never publicly berated any member of his cabinet.'

President Cyril Ramaphosa is not immune to public beratement from within his ranks regarding the infamous Phala Phala farm robbery dogging his tenure as head of state.

During a media briefing in Cape Town, presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said the president was neither blind nor naive.

The president has never publicly berated cabinet members

When pressed by journalists for Ramaphosa’s reaction to a recent, scathing interview with the public broadcaster in which Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu called for ‘clean governance and not another Phala Phala situation’, Magwenya said that ‘behaviour is a reflection of the person’.

“Cabinet ministers have a direct line to the president. There is an established professional decorum they can use to address their concerns.

“The president has never publicly berated any member of his cabinet.”

Vincent Magwenya, Presidency spokesperson.

During that interview on SABC last month, Sisulu explained her criteria for electing a president for the upcoming ANC leadership conference in December.

“I would also use the track record of their honesty because we want [a] clean government; we’re dying for a clean government.

“We don’t want a situation where there is a Phala Phala and we don’t know what to do and we don’t want a government that is painted with a brush that has got nothing to do with the rest of what we’ve been doing and working on for so long… So I want a very clean person,” she said

ALSO READ: ‘We need a clean government, not another Phala Phala situation’ – Sisulu

Magwenya said Ramaphosa was also aware that the governing party was in a period of contestation for the head of the party position.

“Members will be inclined to express themselves. The president is not blind but very much aware of that dynamic,” explained Magwenya.

Meanwhile, mining magnate, and brother-in-law to Ramaphosa, Patrice Motsepe, may be added to the list of ANC bigwigs vying for the position of party president at the 55th ANC elective conference next month.

An ANC branch in Maandagshoek outside the mining town of Burgersfort in Limpopo nominated Motsepe for the party’s top job over the weekend.

Suppose Motsepe’s nomination gains support from other provinces, he will join challengers such as Zweli Mkhize, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Lindiwe Sisulu, who seek to deprive Ramaphosa of his second term bid as ANC president.

Additional reporting by Alex Japho Matlala and Stephen Tau

NOW READ: Motsepe nominated to face Cyril for ANC leadership

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