Ramaphoria hits Soweto as the President spends the day in the township

2018-03-10 19:00
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela with president Cyril Ramaphosa at Orlando High School where she will register to vote. (Mahlatse Mahlase, News24)

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela with president Cyril Ramaphosa at Orlando High School where she will register to vote. (Mahlatse Mahlase, News24)

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Johannesburg - ‘Ramaphoria’ hit Soweto on Saturday as President Cyril Ramaphosa urged residents to register to vote for what is expected to be a hotly contested 2019 elections. From shopping malls to walking the streets of Soweto, residents clamoured for hugs and selfies with Ramaphosa. 

He spent more than ten hours in the iconic township, kickstarting the day with a 5 km walk at 6 am from the historic Regina Mondi Catholic church.

During the walk he interacted with young and old, including 17-year-old Dakalo Shukudu. She goes to the same high school Ramaphosa attended, listed as  Sekano-Ntoane High School.Ramaphosa identified the uniform of his alma mater.

“This is the same tie I use to wear,” Ramaphosa said to Shukudu.The grade 12 learner told Ramaphosa that she was on her way to attend extra lessons.  He urged her to love maths in addition to her first love which is economics.  

Shukudu told Ramaphosa she wants to be an architect but after their brief talk,  she was inspired to fill his shoes. 

“It was so nice, I got inspired and now I wish to be in parliament, maybe become the next president, Shukudu told News24.

Ramaphosa then went to  Hitekani primary school to register to vote in the elections. The school is just a stone throw away from his family home where he grew up in Chiawelo.

“So in a way, it's returning home because this is also where I come to replenish my energies from time to time at the home of my parent,” he said. 

The billionaire Ramaphosa said he was re-registering at his childhood home at the request of his branch in the area. 

He was also confronted by a wailing Matshidiso Ngatane, who spent two years looking for her father who was admitted at the Leratong hospital on Gauteng’s West Rand. 

She pleaded with Ramaphosa to help her found closure. Ngatane told News24 that she was saddened by the reaction by then health officials in Gauteng.  The hospital had claimed that her dad was discharged.

“The lawyers from the department of health harassed me in court. After I found my dead, I was depressed, I was discharged for being medically unfit,” a wailing Ngatane said. Her depression she said was deepened by the Life Esidimeni tragedy when more than 140 mentally ill patients died at NGO’s when they were moved from Life Esidiment, a private mental health institution. 

Arriving at the Hetakani primary school registration centre,  Ramaphosa first visited the EFF’s monitors’ desk first outside the school where he joked with those representing the red beret. Inside the school, he was met by ululations, learners who sang “Cyril hi bossa” – translated C is Cyril is the boss. 

Then he visited Winnie Madikezela-Mandela at her home to take her to Orlando West High where she has voted since 1994.They walked in together and a jovial Madikela Mandela predicted that the ANC will get the majority vote in  2019. 

“I am ANC in the first place,  we are coming up with great surprises as you can see I am always with my president, we are going to surprise the country ….watch this space.

“I am back so we wish the country will do the right thing, we have difficulties, great difficulties, it is not going to be easy but we are going to overcome, we have already overcome some of the obstacles. I am confident we will lead this South Africa to victory,” she said. 

Then Ramaphosa went on a blitz at the Maponya mall, bringing shopping to a standstill as scores of shoppers wanted to take selfies.

The visit took more than two hours. 

Ramaphosa urged South Africans to go register to vote or update their residential addresses. 

“I want to urge all South Africans that it is a good thing to do to check if you are registered and if you have moved you should also go and check registration, the IEC staff is professional, he said. Registration centres will be opened again on Sunday at 08:00 am until 17:00. The IEC has a mammoth task of updating addresses of more than 2 million people. 

Read more on:    anc  |  cyril rama­phosa  |  johannesburg

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