Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: JOYRENE KRAMER
Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: JOYRENE KRAMER

It was the story that had everything. A presidential contender. A sex tape. A betrayed woman. A Sunday newspaper headline. Except, it didn’t.

Revelations of Cyril Ramaphosa’s "affairs" appear to have been less interesting than the initial billing promised.

Yes, Ramaphosa is a presidential contender. But it turns out he wasn’t on the sex tape. And it seems he had already spoken with his wife about the affair and they had moved on.

And the Sunday newspaper that broke the story? Well, it has fallen on hard times of late and now seems to be less of a newspaper than another peddler of stories of the Bell Pottinger ilk.

Despite Ramaphosa’s best efforts to stay in the headlines, readers had lost interest by Monday

Inside, the paper carried an editorial comment by Mosebenzi Zwane, the Gupta-crazy mining minister, with a picture byline. Its main Sunday read was an article about how state capture is "hokum". The previous week it had published an opinion piece that argued Ramaphosa ought to be tried for "mass murder" over the Marikana shootings.

Despite Ramaphosa’s best efforts to stay in the headlines — a court interdict, an interview with the Sunday Times, a long public statement and a speech on the matter — readers had lost interest by Monday morning.

That was the day on which Bell Pottinger was thrown out of the UK public relations establishment for its covert pro-Gupta campaign.

South Africans, it seems, are not particularly interested in the private lives of their leaders. They proved this when they elected President Jacob Zuma after he had sex with ... let’s just say a bunch of folk.

The best comment on the matter was made by The Times columnist Tom Eaton, who said: "I must admit that I am terribly disappointed in Cyril Ramaphosa.

"Just one affair? What kind of presidential contender only has one affair?

"In France you can’t even become deputy mayor unless you list at least three dangerous liaisons on your CV."

hartleyr@tisoblackstar.co.za

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