President Cyril Ramaphosa will not be on ‘Podcast And Chill’. Photo: GCIS/flickr

When did Cyril Ramaphosa last take questions from the media?

If you have a question for Cyril Ramaphosa, you could be left waiting a long time for an answer – as the media has discovered during this pandemic.


President Cyril Ramaphosa will not be on ‘Podcast And Chill’. Photo: GCIS/flickr

Cyril Ramaphosa’s controversial media strategy is starting to raise plenty of suspicion across the country – not least in journalistic circles. The president has delivered plenty of national addresses throughout this pandemic, but not ONCE has he hung around for questions after a family meeting. So, has the president been *completely* shut off from the public?

When did Ramaphosa last take questions?

He’s had his moments. Last year, he participated in the #PresidentialImbizo, which allowed citizens to pose questions to Ramaphosa during a live Q&A. That only took place twice, however.

His most recent interactions with the press came at the end of February, where he participated in an event with Sanef. He also did the rounds in January, appearing for a ‘media junket’ with several media houses. However, his interactions with those meant to hold him to account have been few and far between.

When compared with a country like the UK, Boris Johnson isn’t exactly the embodiment of a perfect presidential figure. But the British PM faces media questions at least once a week, alongside government scientists and other Cabinet members. An emulation on Ramaphosa’s part would be nice, but after 13 months, our hopes are somewhat fading.

Is the president ‘avoiding the media’?

In January 2021, Cyril Ramaphosa made this statement. He denied avoiding the media, and bemoaned his busy schedule:

“It’s not that I don’t want to do it; I think that what my office should do is just find space in my diary so that we can have this engagement. I do agree that a question and answer session should be allowed.”

However, since this declaration, Ramaphosa has only addressed the SANEF meeting. There have been FOUR national addresses in 2021, and not once has the president allowed the media to respond to the family meeting live. While not completely absent, our head of state does remain elusive when it comes to facing the media.