If President Cyril Ramaphosa had his way, he would tie young white South Africans to trees.
This was his tongue-in-cheek comment as he urged young white South Africans to not leave the country. The president's campaign trail stopped in the Beyerskloof wine estate outside Stellenbosch on Tuesday afternoon.
Several of the assembled farmers and businessmen were allowed to ask Ramaphosa questions through Beyers Truter, farm co-owner and winemaker, who acted as an MC.
Ramaphosa, who mentioned more than once that he was a farmer himself, was well received.
Truter said he believed the lord anointed kings and presidents, and he believed God anointed Ramaphosa.
Grape farmer Chris Steenkamp said: "Everyone here likes you, everyone here trusts you."
He said they've known Ramaphosa since the days of Codesa and Ramaphosa looked at him with a serious expression and nodded.
"Without you as president, we're lost. Your success is our success."
"We're praying for you every day," said Jan Morgan of Morgan Beef. "You've got a really tough job."
In one of the questions posed, Ramaphosa was asked whether white people had a future in the country.
"This is the South Africa that should deliver a better life for all of us," Ramaphosa said.
He said he wants the South Africans in the diaspora to come back home and contribute to growing South Africa.
"I don't want young white South Africans to leave the country. If I could, I would tie them to a tree," he said as he smiled.
He added that the feeling that they were not wanted in the country was simply not true.
"There is room for all of us to play a role."
Ramaphosa also said the defining quality of South Africans was their ability to work together.
"Join me in making this great country of ours great again," he said, echoing Donald Trump's famous slogan emblazoned on red caps.
In a reception hall, where there were pictures of wine bottles and a vineyard turning a dark autumnal red, Ramaphosa said he believed the glass was not half empty, but half full for South Africa.
"Our task is, how do we fill that glass," Ramaphosa said.
He admitted that the ANC government of the past 25 years had made mistakes and that some of those mistakes led to corruption.
While the farmers and businessmen listened in respectful silence, they applauded when he said they were determined to rid the country of corruption.
He said those implicated in corruption should go to where they belong.
"And that is jail," he said, again to applause.
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