Watch: Ramaphosa throws some s

Watch: Ramaphosa throws some serious shade at ‘leaders who don’t listen to their citizens’ [video]

Deputy — for now — president Cyril Ramaphosa has taken a stab at ‘leaders’ who ignore the concerns of the people they’re elected to lead.

Watch: Ramaphosa throws some s

The deputy president seems to be taking a much more considered, informed and sensitive approach to the last few weeks’ anti-Zuma protests.

Chatting to reporters after the Easter service at the St Engenas Zion Church in Limpopo, Ramaphosa said that the protests against Zuma carried very real concerns by South Africans and that leaders need to listen to what their people have to say.

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While Zuma and his loyalists have taken a dismissive and even aggressive stance against those protesting his leadership, Ramaphosa – while not openly speaking out against the president – seems to have actually thought about what folks on the street are saying.

Zuma previously labelled the protests against him as racist, but when asked if he agrees with the president’s comments, Ramaphosa said that the “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,” he told eNCA.

“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.”

Several senior politicians have spoken out against Jacob Zuma’s leadership, including former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe.

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Ramaphosa has, so far, played his cards pretty close to his chest and it would be interesting to see how he positions himself closer to the end of the year when the ANC votes for a new president.