In a video clip doing the rounds from Sunday’s Global Citizen Festival concert at FNB Stadium, President Cyril Ramaphosa can be seen introducing former Free State premier and current ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule as his “boss”.
The clip appears to belie the perception that Ramaphosa and Magashule may be enemies, though it’s just as likely that Ramaphosa was joking, as he is known to have a playful side and often jokes and laughs with even former president Jacob Zuma despite the clear political tensions between both men.
There was also a clear spirit of celebration and camaraderie at the concert, which was supported by some of the biggest names in global entertainment in aid of charity. Ramaphosa has said he likes to model his behaviour on that of late statesman Nelson Mandela, who was also known for downplaying his own importance and trying to boost the people around him.
Magashule was not on the Ramaphosa slate at last year’s ANC elective conference and his election as the party’s secretary-general came as a surprise to many, following reports of his deep involvement with the controversial Gupta family
In the clip below, Ramaphosa can be seen warmly greeting Magashule after kissing deputy secretary-general (SG) Jessie Duarte and introducing her as “this woman … without her I don’t exist”.
With music blaring from the big stage, Ramaphosa then introduced Magashule to one of his guests by saying: “This is my boss, this is the real boss. Without him I am nothing.”
(Note: when playing the video, you may have to activate the audio manually).
He then further explained that the two were respectively the deputy SG and SG of the ANC.
In October, Magashule dismissed reports that suggested there was tension between him and Ramaphosa after a Sunday Times front-page report revealing that Magashule and other Jacob Zuma loyalists may have been meeting with Zuma in Durban to “plot” against Ramaphosa.
Magashule repeatedly used the word ‘unity’ and said the only “plotting” he would be doing would be with Ramaphosa and other senior ANC leaders against divisions in the ANC, as well as unemployment, poverty and inequality.
The SG maintained he was enjoying working with Ramaphosa and would not allow any “wedge drivers” to come between him and the president.