President Cyril Ramaphosa has withdrawn from an engagement with the ANC Women’s League in Limpopo on Thursday, just moments before he was due to address crowds. His team has cited risks linked to ‘COVID-19’ and ‘credentials of those in attendance’.
[WATCH] Deputy minister of State Security in the Presidency Zizi Kodwa whispered something into the President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ear and he has just walked out of the Women’s league’s Lillian Ngoyi lecture. Limpopo chairperson Stan Mathabatha has also walked out. #Newzroom405 pic.twitter.com/VGpZXyior3
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) January 6, 2022
While seated in front of the audience, Deputy SSA Minister Zizi Kodwa could be seen approaching Ramaphosa, and then spoke with him personally. Shortly afterwards, the head of state left his seat, and did not return to the Lillian Ngoyi lecture…
— Juniour Khumalo (@JKwritingz) January 6, 2022
COVID CHECKS, UNAUTHORISED ENTRIES FLAG ANCWL EVENT
It’s understood that two things irked the security detail at the event: Firstly, some people entered the building without being screened properly. This, according to ANC officials, presented a real risk to the president.
RAMAPHOSA LEAVES EVENT DUE TO ‘SECURITY RISKS’
Secondly, the size of the crowd inside the building was not ‘COVID compliant’. Ramaphosa and the ANC were hammered in the run-up to the 2021 Elections, for regularly flouting rules about gatherings at their rallies.
It seems the presidency is keen to avoid a similar situation this time around. Both Cyril and Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha were escorted out of the venue, for reasons concerning safety and lockdown regulations.
[JUST IN] The President Cyril Ramaphosa and Premier Stanley Mathabatha have been escorted out of the building where the ANCWL is convening its memorial lecture in Limpopo. @eNCA This is due to non-compliance of Covid-19 regulations.
— Pule Letshwiti-Jones (@pule_jones) January 6, 2022