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Could The Cyril Ramaphosa Scandal Be A Dirty Tricks Campaign?

Assuming Cyril Ramaphosa’s private life is indeed that, who would benefit from positioning it as our business, as everyday South Africans?

05/09/2017 03:58 SAST
Deaan Vivier/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa during the African National Congress [ANC] 5th national policy conference at the Nasrec Expo Centre on July 01, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Why we absolutely should care about the Cyril Ramaphosa alleged "affair" scandal: Let me state upfront, I have little interest in the sexual proclivities of our Deputy President, provided, like with any other normal citizen, no crime has been committed.

It's for very good reason, this is referred to generally, as one's private life. And, certainly, on the surface, no crime has been committed if indeed it is a consensual adult affair. That's between the married parties to sort out. And I am not saying he had these affairs either.

Let me also say, I fully believe in the sanctity of marriage, and being faithful to one's vows –- and if broken, is really, only between the married couple to resolve. What we should have a great interest in, is why this supposed "affair/s" is being brought to our attention? This is the vitally important part of the story, and in my view, where the true public scandal may lie.

We live in a time of "facts not getting in the way of a good story". We have witnessed firsthand how spin-doctors, both local and from afar, Bell Pottinger being a fine example, have played to societies insecurities, fear and prejudice, to weave a story that is likely to be bought.

We've seen many of our local media houses, both State owned and State sponsored [via ad spend] spin stories that are often, at complete factual odds with the news being told by some of our more trusted and credible independent media. So, it's often difficult to know what we should believe.

Were Cyril to be discredited and disgraced, who would become the stronger candidate in the ANC succession race?

Like in any good crime story, we are taught to follow the money. In the world of politics, and with votes being the currency, we'd be wise to do the same. So, assuming Cyril Ramaphosa's private life is indeed that, who would benefit from positioning it as our business, as everyday South Africans? In my view, there is a likely direct benefactor -- and an unlikely benefactor.

The likely one is obvious. Were Cyril to be discredited and disgraced, who would become the stronger candidate in the ANC succession race? There are just a handful of names here. Were one to filter them through a sieve of who is most likely to pull a stunt like this, the list becomes even shorter. I'll leave it there.

We then get to the unlikely benefactor of such a scandal. And I believe this isn't the case here, but just scenario playing. If you recall the run up to last year's unfortunate American Presidential Elections, similar scandals broke well before the hard campaigning started, whilst others happened closer to election day.

A news scandal to divert us from other, possibly bigger stories lurking, or simply to preempt this story from breaking closer to the December date.

The obvious beneficiaries:

  1. An old recording surfaced of Donald Trump talking to Billy Bush about grabbing women by their private parts. This conversation had clearly been carefully saved for later tactical use. [Benefactor here: possibly Hillary Clinton]
  2. The Hillary Clinton email scandal; [Benefactor here: possibly Donald Trump]; this was after all the scandal which finally broke a big part of America's trust for HC.

The unlikely beneficiary:

  1. Hilary needed to get the Monica Lewinsky skeleton out of the way ahead of the race. All of a sudden, Monica was out there talking about her life and the impact of the affair. And Hillary was confronting the story directly and indirectly too. They clearly wanted it dealt with and old news before the real race began. [Benefactor here: possibly Hillary Clinton]

And so, our very unlikely benefactor here, as regards the Ramaphosa scandal, could be Cyril himself. A news scandal to divert us from other, possibly bigger stories lurking, or simply to preempt this story from breaking closer to the December date.

Allow those who would deliberately create or feed a smear campaign, to being seen as the underhanded thugs they are, if this is indeed the case.

Let me now state very clearly, I believe this Cyril "affair" scandal is far more likely, the first scenario, i.e. designed to benefit his opposition versus one to indirectly benefit Mr Ramaphosa. But it is important to examine the dice from all angles first.

So, like the Bell Pottinger story and those seeded by Gupta media, it would be in our interests to understand the dirty tricks possibly being played by Cyril's opposition. We should not simply be duped and led astray -– but allow those who would deliberately create or feed a smear campaign, to being seen as the underhanded thugs they are, if this is indeed the case.

The likely motive:

To take an imperfect person, like most of us are, and to deliberately seek to tarnish his reputation as he seeks the highest office. It was Nelson Mandela after all, who identified Cyril as his preferred candidate to lead the ANC. That would certainly be reason enough, to make the opposing ANC factions rather nervous...