Cyril Ramaphosa has received international praise for ‘leading by example’ during this coronavirus crisis – but the president probably won’t want to see the general public do what he did in Rosebank this morning. It seems the head of state may have thrown caution to the wind with his own social distancing rules.
While out on a morning walk, Ramaphosa was approached by two women in face masks. The pair greeted the president with their elbows, as is the new custom in a COVID-19 world. However, the group seemed to get a little too close for comfort when they asked to get a photo with the president.
There may have been very little physical contact or touching, but the exchange has raised an eyebrow or two with the online community. Ramaphosa’s administration has previously asked South Africans to ‘avoid contact with other people‘ outside of their homes. And we doubt the president has moved in with these two ladies…
— Nwabisa Makunga (@nwabisa_mak) May 17, 2020
Of course, there are many ways of looking at this. Ramaphosa has been working exhaustively during the lockdown – even if his own ministers end up causing him a few headaches themselves. There is something comforting about the president being able to walk down the street and get this kind of reaction.
But, context is king. And in a world where many of us haven’t been able to even get this close to our parents and loved ones, it does seem a bit… off. Social media remains divided on the matter, and although it’s not exactly the crime of the century, the chance meeting does raise a few questions.
Cyril Ramaphosa is breaking lockdown rules by first:
— Season 1 One (@Season1One) May 17, 2020
No bodyguards, no drama, just simple exercises. He’s not even minding the security threat. I’m proud to have voted for you sir
— Tsheko Musolwa (@TshekoMusolwa) May 17, 2020