Ramaphosa charms at Presidential Golf Day

2018-02-22 14:17
Cyril Ramaphosa's golf day (Jenni Evans, News24)

Cyril Ramaphosa's golf day (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa charmed guests at his first Presidential Golf Day on Thursday, posing for selfies and drawing laughter from members of the media as he feigned deafness in response to a question about a Cabinet reshuffle.

"What was that? I don't know, I can't hear properly," he joked.

Earlier, he had a few practice swings on the golf course, before hitting his first ball of the day.

His golf partner was introduced as a 20-year-old four-handicapper, Cassidy Williams.

"It's a great day, a great day for fun and laughing at each other, as we miss golf balls, but only on one condition - we don't laugh at the president's mistakes," the newly-elected president said.

Stopping off at the shop to buy a few golf balls, Ramaphosa smiled and waved at visitors.

Staff ignored decorum just so that they can capture a prized selfie with the president.

Earlier, as he made his way through the club house, Hugh Masekela's Thuma Mina - the song he made reference to in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) - played through the public address system.

READ: This is the Hugh Masekela song President Cyril Ramaphosa quoted at SONA 2018

Traditionally, the Presidential Golf Challenge is held the day after the SONA, but this year it was held after the Budget Speech instead.

golf day
President Cyril Ramaphosa with some of his fellow golfers. (Jenni Evans, News24)

ALSO READ: Jovial Zuma tees off on golf course after violent SONA

'There will be many lows'

After hitting his first ball for a photo opportunity, he paid tribute to his golf partner: "She is the next best thing that is going to happen in the world of golfing."

He said he was still settling into his new job, adding that people still called him "DP" (Deputy President) and adding that he might have to settle for "President DP".

A highlight had been all the people coming up to him during his walks to say that they also wanted to be included in improving the country.

"A new dawn has really arrived in our country and people all over the country are feeling enthusiastic."

He was heartened by the residents of the golf estate on the West Coast, who had stood at the gate waving a South African flag to welcome him.

"And a new sense of pride, a new sense of enthusiasm is coming, even the vuvuzela..." he joked as somebody in the background started blasting at the horn. "So it's been fantastic".

"So far there hasn't been any lows. I thought there would be a low if I missed my ball," he quipped.

"And there will be many lows, but I am hoping that we will take the lows in our stride as a people [and] as a country. But right now, we must ride this wave and engage everyone to contribute to the development of our country."

African National Congress political veteran Andrew Mlangeni, who stood next to Ramaphosa, urged people to work with the president for the sake of the country.

"Even the rand picked up," Mlangeni joked.

This year's event is in aid of raising funds for the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation.

Read more on:    cyril ramaphosa  |  cape town  |  presidency

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