From Evita Bezuidenhout

I am shocked to read suggestions in the media that I had an affair with Cyril Ramaphosa!
I am a married Afrikaner Christian who, in spite of being a member of the ANC, still regard my marital vows as sacred. My husband Hasie is alive, and if he read these headlines of fake news, it might end his life. As things are, his memory is so vague that when he sees me, he thinks I am someone’s daughter.
My irritation is bigger than my affront. There is an obvious secret movement afoot to demean Comrade Ramaphosa in these tense and important months leading up to the ANC Congress in December. At the moment he is a front runner in the competition to find a new ANC president – and therefore the next South African leader. Feeble hashtags and badly-written tweets have raced into the public domain like shrill tsunamis.
Cyril Ramaphosa doesn’t need me to defend him or protect his reputation. He is an African aristocrat and a man of dignity and good manners. When I did my legendary television interview with him in 1994 for the MNET series ‘Funigalore’, we met in the Northern Transvaal on a beautiful farm, Walkerson’s, near to the town of Dullstroom. There we talked and laughed, shared stories of Codesa and the 1994 election. He even cooked dinner for me and the film crew. At no stage during that weekend did anything untoward arise between us. (Evita’s interview with Cyril on You Tube –
In 1994 Comrade Ramaphosa was the 41 year old Secretary-General of the ANC, having completed the mammoth task of structuring a democratic constitution with Roelf Meyer. Comrade Cyril’s background as union leader and democrat was merging with his reputation as a future force to be reckoned with in our young rainbow nation then led by Nelson Mandela. What I remember vividly from the weekend was how Comrade Cyril showed me how to catch trout. In the television interview we can be seen in the dam, wearing waders with water up to our waists, holding our fishing rods in deep concentration on who would catch the first fish. Mine was smaller than his, but it was the first time I had caught a fish on land. And even though we seem to be alone and isolated in the panorama of Africa, there was a film crew listening and capturing every moment in our adventure.
Comrade Cyril prepared the fish for our dinner and we sat in candlelight toasting our future with glasses that were half full and not half empty. I remember also saying to him: “Cyril my skat? One day you will be the President of South Africa!” And as I expected, humbly and with charm, he just smiled.
• @TannieEvita
• Evita’s Free Speech weekly episode every Sunday on You Tube
• Evita Bezuidenhout & the Kaktus of Separate Development come to the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, UKZN from 31 October to 19 November: Book at Computicket and win diplomatic immunity!

Related Posts