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SABC sets record straight on Ramaphosa/Maimane debate speculations

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The public broadcaster has set the record straight on speculations that it will be hosting a debate between President Ramaphosa and DA leader Mmusi Maimane this coming Sunday.

On Thursday, 18 April 2019, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) published a statement addressing speculations that the broadcaster would be hosting a debate between African National Congress (ANC) leader and the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane.

“The SABC would like to put on record that it has no plans to host a debate between ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa and DA leader Mmusi Maimane. As such, there has been no communication shared with the public regarding the matter.

“The public broadcaster wants to state as fact that one of its elections productions, The Big Debate, has approached leaders of political parties to participate in a debate scheduled for its final episode ahead of the May 8 elections. Plans for the proposed debate are still underway,” the statement read.

This comes after Maimane had on Tuesday, 16 April 2019, released a statement announcing the scheduled debate between himself and Ramaphosa.

“Today I received a formal invite to participate in The Big Debate’s official presidential debate to be held on April 28, 2019 and aired live on SABC 2 and various SABC radio stations. I welcome this initiative and look forward to going toe-to-toe with Cyril Ramaphosa to debate our respective plans to deal with our country’s most pressing challenges,” said Maimane in an emailed statement.

However, the ANC published a counter-statement, refuting the debate speculations made by Maimane.

“We strongly dispute what is currently being touted by the SABC, that the organisation has confirmed or is even aware of a debate between its statesman and the DA’s Mmusi Maimane,” the statement read.

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]


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