JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has withdrawn from the annual Chairman’s Conversation hosted by Power FM, the Presidency announced on Thursday.
Ramaphosa was supposed to have a sit down with MSG Afrika chairman, Given Mkhari.
The withdrawal by Ramaphosa comes after concerns from civil society.
Mkhari previously hosted the likes of billionaire Johann Rupert and former president, Thabo Mbeki.
READ THE FULL STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENCY BELOW:
In the light of concerns raised by civil society organisations, Wise4Afrika and the Soul City Institute regarding the scheduled event, the President has upon careful consideration decided not to participate.
President Ramaphosa firmly believes that he, like every other South African, has a responsibility to do everything within his means to confront gender-based violence, and to do nothing that undermines the effectiveness of the national effort.
This is all the more critical at a time when the country is observing the annual 16 Days of No Violence against Women and Children.
The Presidency notes that Mr and Mrs Mkhari met with representatives of certain civil society organisations and senior officials in the Presidency today but unfortunately the resolution reached by the parties was too late to ensure his participation.
The Presidency emphasises that the non-participation of President Ramaphosa should not be read as an endorsement of the untested allegations raised by the civil society organisations but a carefully weighed up decision taken in the public interest.
The President calls upon all social partners to work together to develop concrete principles to give guidance in instances where gender-based violence is alleged outside of legal processes and the need for objective assessment of desirable action that should be taken.
The Presidency sincerely regrets any inconvenience caused to the listeners of Power FM, other media partners and the sponsors of the event.