Why South Africans Want President Cyril Ramaphosa Deported to Kenya

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    President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (right) at the G7 Summit in Quebéc City, Canada in 2018
  • As South Africa continues to be rocked by violent demonstrations, a section of its citizens seem to be fed up and are calling for their President Cyril Ramaphosa to be deported to Kenya.

    A video of a woman announcing that she was fed up with the rising cost of living and demanding Ramaphosa's deportation has gone viral across social media platforms of the conflict-ridden country.

    She claimed that prices of many products had increased and that families in South Africa were no longer safe.

    "Now we are getting very hard to live. Look what I am having now! (a pack of tissues) Do you know how much it is? 24 Rand. And you know how much this is? (an orange fruit).

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa giving an address at a past event.
    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa giving an address at a past event.

    "Is this how we are going to live? Really Ramaphosa, are you okay? I am not scared now. It is either you kill me or not. This is not a life we need to live in South Africa. It is either you go to Kenya or you leave us alone," she lamented.

    Her sentiments were a result of a growing but false narrative that Ramaphosa is not a bona fide South African citizen but a Kenyan who irregularly acquired the rainbow nation's citizenship. 

    They argued that he was born somewhere in Kenya and it was high time he returned to the East African Country.

    "Ramaphosa must go back to Kenya. He doesn't know what to do," argued Lulama Khumalo in a public South African Facebook Group dubbed Hands Off Jacob Zuma which has over 23,000 members.

    The Kenyan citizenship rumours began on Sunday, July 11, even as the death toll from fighting in South Africa rose to over 30 people.

    The unrest began as protests of former President Jacob Zuma's supporters on Thursday, July 8, after the former President handed himself over to prison authorities and started serving a 15-month jail term.

    Ramaphosa has been accused of using the judiciary to imprison Zuma over political differences. 

    Malls and trucks have been set on fire even as over 800 people were arrested in connection with the protests.

    The South African President has in the past had a love-hate relationship with Kenya and was in 2008 turned away by the then Kenya's ruling Party of National Unity (PNU).

    Ramaphosa, then a prominent businessman, had been unanimously chosen by the former United Nations Secretary-general Kofi Annan's team as the chief mediator following the 2007-2008 Post Election Violence (PEV).

    The resultant stalemate saw international negotiators seek to break the standoff that led to thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and deaths.

    However, the government side led by then President Mwai Kibaki declined Ramaphosa's mediatory role raising concerns that he had business connections with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga.

    Building set on fire as South Africans protest arrest of former President Jacob Zuma.
    Building set on fire as South Africans protest arrest of former President Jacob Zuma.

    Kenyans.co.ke fact check.

    An independent fact check by Kenyans.co.ke has established that Ramaphosa was not born in Kenya but in Soweto, Johannesburg which is South Africa's capital city.

    According to the official Presidential website of South Africa, Ramaphosa was born on 17 November 1952.

    His family was moved from Western Native Township to Soweto in 1962, where he attended Tshilidzi Primary School. He completed high school at Mphaphuli High School in Sibasa, Venda in 1971 before proceeding for a law degree.

    The ANC Leader, however, enjoys good relations with East Africa as his son recently married the daughter of former Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. He is also known to rear Ankole bulls from Kenya and Uganda. 

    According to Cambridge University, disinformation in politics has been intensified in recent years with the aim of achieving three main obstacles.

    "First, the fundamental uncertainty that international anarchy generates over any information broadcasted by adversaries; second, the pre-existing prejudices of foreign policy elites and ordinary citizens; and third, the countermeasures that are available even amid political polarisation," read the statement in part.

    Below is a video from the South African demonstrations:

    death fire arrest fight