South Africa’s Ramaphosa Says He’s Being Targeted by Smear Campaign

  • Deputy president says private emails were illegally obtained
  • Ramaphosa says won’t comment in public on private matters

South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, one of the front-runners to take over the leadership of the ruling African National Congress, said he’s the target of a political smear campaign that he expects will intensify ahead of the party leadership elections in December.

Cyril Ramaphosa

Photographer: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

“It has come to my attention, through questions that were sent to me by the editor of a Sunday newspaper, that a number of emails from my private email account have been illegally obtained,” Ramaphosa said in an emailed statement on Saturday. “From the nature and tone of the questions, it is clear that the intention of obtaining the emails and then providing them to the media was to discredit my person. I will not comment in public on private matters.”

Ramaphosa’s statement was in response to questions from the Sunday Independent regarding issues related to his personal life.

The deputy president said those behind the campaign were waging “a dirty war” against political leaders who were working to restore the ANC’s integrity and halt the looting of state resources.

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