President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS/ELMOND JIYANE
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS/ELMOND JIYANE

President Cyril Ramaphosa has skipped the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF) session he was due to address on Thursday to speak to protesters and attend to issues at parliament. 

WEF spokesperson Elsie Kanza confirmed that Ramaphosa was “unexpectedly” called to parliament and is “speaking to his people”. 

The president then addressed the crowd protesting against gender-based violence outside parliament. This followed the murders and rape of Uyinene Mrwetyana, a University of Cape Town student, and the murder of a young female boxing champion, Leighandre “Baby Lee” Jegels.

It is understood that Ramaphosa will address the nation later on Thursday. 

A cabinet briefing scheduled for Thursday was also canceled. 

This comes as SA hosts the WEF meeting in Cape Town, where it is hoping to attract investment during a turbulent week in the country. 

Parts of Gauteng have been hit by violent attacks and looting on foreign nationals and some of their businesses, while anti-gender-based violence activists protested for the second day in row in Cape Town. 

Wednesday’s protest descended into chaos when police used water cannons and stun grenades to disperse the crowds.

With Lukanyo Mnyanda

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