Debate: As a public figure Cyril Ramaphosa is held to a higher standard...or not

Cyril Ramaphosa's infidelity revelations have everyone asking one thing. Will this affect his presidential bid?

Some political analysts say yes, other say no - but one thing is for sure. This news has impacted how the public sees him.

Political analysts, Karima Brown and Prince Mashele explain why this news impacts his campaign and how people view him.

Read: Ramaphosa allegations a political smear campaign, says Deputy Health Minister

Mashele says that this is because public figures like Ramaphosa are not seen as normal human beings, and therefore their actions are highly scrutinised.

By being a public figure, you are placing restrictions on your life. In other words, there are things that are done by normal human beings that you can't do, by virtue of the face that you are a public figure. A public figure who does not know that means that they are not ready to lead.

Prince Mashele, Political analysts

Karima Brown adds to this, saying that we do hold public figures to a higher standard, due to the expectations of their positions.

While she concedes that there are higher expectations of leaders, Brown says leaders should not be that different to ordinary people, because that assumes that ordinary people can't become leaders.

Read: I have never met Cyril Ramaphosa in my entire life - Nonhlanhla Radebe

Members of the public hold elected representatives to a higher standard. They do that in terms of the way they run the country, their departments and the way in which they run their personal lives.

Karima Brown, Political analysts

When it comes to whether Ramaposa's actions influence his work or his presidential campaign, Mashele and Brown have different perspectives. For Brown, leader's personal life is of little consequence if these matters do not affect their ability to do their job.

Bigger issues that concern Brown are things like if a leader steals from the people, misuses state institutions, uses their power to extract sexual favours or impose themselves on the bodies of men and women.

When it comes to an extra martial affair, Brown says we should follow France's example and leave private affairs private.

Of course we expect leadership to behave in a particular way, but we must be very clear about what those issues are. I don't care who Cyril Ramaphosa has sex with. I care whether he steals from the country.

Karima Brown, Political analysts

For Mashele, Ramaphosa's affairs or any other bad behavior from powerful people is important, as this speaks to their moral compass, character and how they conduct themselves.

He adds that if a leader acts in a way that he would not want his children to behave, he judges them. This is because for him, a leader who acts in a way that contradicts what he believes society could become, is problematic.

A leader sets a standard. A leader is an embodiment of social values. So the way you conduct yourself says, this is the best of society. If a leader conducts himself in a manner that projects a society that doesn't care about high moral standards, I worry about that.

Prince Mashele, Political analysts

Listen to the full breakdown below:


702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Talking Sex with Dr Eve: Bullied as a child, sexually dysfunctional as an adult?

Talking Sex with Dr Eve: Bullied as a child, sexually dysfunctional as an adult?

Eusebius McKaiser and resident sexologist Dr Eve speak about how being bullied as a child could affect your adult sexual life.

ANC stalwarts to host independent consultative conference

ANC stalwarts to host independent consultative conference

Karima Browns says the ANC has responded to the stalwarts' gathering stating it is not a sanctioned party event.

I have never met Cyril Ramaphosa in my entire life - Nonhlanhla Radebe

I have never met Cyril Ramaphosa in my entire life - Nonhlanhla Radebe

ANC Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu says the scandal against Cyril Ramaphosa clearly has some kind of political agenda.

OPINION: Could fidelity point to Constitutional commitment?

OPINION: Could fidelity point to Constitutional commitment?

Stand-in breakfast host Bongani Bingwa asks if we should simply shrug off allegations against the deputy president.

Infidelity claims won't impede Ramaphosa's presidential bid - Brown

Infidelity claims won't impede Ramaphosa's presidential bid - Brown

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa made a dramatic confession about an extramarital affair in attempts to clear his name.

Ramaphosa allegations a political smear campaign, says Deputy Health Minister

Ramaphosa allegations a political smear campaign, says Deputy Health Minister

The Sunday Independent reports that Ramaphosa has had a number of affairs and has copies of Ramaphosa’s emails to back this up.

Popular articles
7 tips on how to keep your child safe in public

7 tips on how to keep your child safe in public

Social worker and Childline manager Faiza Khota shares practical advise on how to help protect children in public spaces.

Soon you may not be able to light up in public (indoors or out!)

Soon you may not be able to light up in public (indoors or out!)

The Dept of Health is looking to introduce draft legislation that includes a complete ban on all smoking in public areas.

'KZN nudist beach would be a draw card for international tourism'

'KZN nudist beach would be a draw card for international tourism'

Chairman of KZN Naturists Association Christo Bothma says having the section of the South Coast beach will boost the economy.

New drug known as 'flakka' hits Durban

New drug known as 'flakka' hits Durban

Sam Pillay, founder and director of Anti-Drug Forum SA says once the drug takes effect, the user appears possessed.

The President's Keepers: PDF version is tantamount to theft - Exclusive Books

The President's Keepers: PDF version is tantamount to theft - Exclusive Books

A PDF version of the book has been doing the rounds since Sars and the State Security Agency threatened legal action.

Falling out of love? Signs and stages of romantic disengagement

Falling out of love? Signs and stages of romantic disengagement

Can you love your partner, but no longer be in love with them? Dr Eve unravels stages of disaffection in romantic relationships.

Celibacy liberated me - Amanda Ndiki

Celibacy liberated me - Amanda Ndiki

Author Amanda Ndiki, celibate for 6 years describes her journey and how celibacy helped mend her sense of self.

'The university degree is dead'

'The university degree is dead'

Flux Trends founder Dion Chang gives five reasons why he believes getting a degree is past its sell by date.