President Cyril Ramaphosa has cancelled an appearance with the ANC Women’s League in Limpopo on Thursday, just minutes before he was scheduled to speak to a gathering. Risks associated with ‘COVID-19’ and ‘credentials of those in attendance,’ according to his team.
Bathabile Dlamini, the president of the ANC Woman’s League, was the one who called for the cancellation of a memorial lecture in honour of Lilian Ngoyi. So says the ANC in a statement issued on Thursday night.
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.
[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
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.
BREAKING: President Cyril Ramaphosa has left the venue, they are citing a security risk as some people entered without being screened properly.
The deputy president of the ANCWL also says there is a lack of compliance with regards to Covid-19 regulations. #ANC110Limpopo
— Juniour Khumalo (@JKwritingz) January 6, 2022
Second, the audience size within the facility did not meet COVID requirements. In the run-up to the 2021 elections, Ramaphosa and the ANC were chastised for repeatedly breaking restrictions about assembling at rallies.
This time around, it appears that the president wants to prevent a similar issue. For reasons of safety and lockdown regulations, both Cyril and Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha were removed out of the stadium.
The event was “oversubscribed,” according to party spokesperson Pule Mabe, which led to Ramaphosa’s walkout from the Lebowakgomo civic building, where the lecture was scheduled to take place on Thursday.
“The leadership of the ANC Women’s League, led by president Bathabile Dlamini, made the call for the event to be postponed and a new date will be conveyed when the president of the ANC will deliver the all-important lecture honouring the legacy of Lillian Ngoyi.
“The Lilian Ngoyi memorial lecture could not proceed due to the event being oversubscribed by members of our organisations and communities at large,” said Mabe.