18/04/2017 07:58 SAST | Updated 18/04/2017 08:44 SAST

Ramaphosa: SA Leaders Must Listen To Protesters

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says leaders should pay attention when people protest.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters
South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma stand before the State of the Nation address at the opening session of Parliament in Cape Town, February 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says leaders should listen to the concerns of protesters, according to eNCA. Ramaphosa was interviewed by eNCA after attending an Easter Sunday service in Moria, Limpopo, on Sunday.

During the service, Bishop Engenas Joseph Lekganyane said, "when two elephants fight, the grass gets hurt", in a parable apparently directed at Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma.

"We all get hurt. White, Indian, Black. We all get hurt. Try to stop that. I thank you," the bishop said.

Later, when asked about this, Ramaphosa told the broadcaster that this was not happening.

"I mean obviously the Bishop is concerned about things that are happening in the country. The various things that'll happen in Parliament. And it is correct that leaders of the faith should be concerned about the country and we welcome that. Because their voices also need to be heard. We also need their prayers," he reportedly said.

Asked about the protests, which Zuma previously said were driven by racism, Ramaphosa said: "People of our country are taking to the streets.

"They're raising their concerns, and I think what we should be doing as leaders is to listen to some of the concerns that are being raised by our people and reflect on the issues that they are raising.

"Because the people themselves own this democracy. The democracy is not owned by leaders only. They are active participants in the democracy of our country and they are right to be concerned. They want their country to work well. They want this country to win. So we should welcome the concerns that the people are raising."