Tue, 23 Apr 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday took to Twitter to respond to questions asked by social media users under the hashtag #HolaMatamela, sending the feed into a frenzy.

From being squashed in a train, to early morning walkabouts, to almost being selfied into a coma, the president of the country and of the current majority party, the ANC, announced at 17:18 that he was braving the wildlands of social media.

He opened with: "I'm delighted to be in a position to answer questions, especially from young people. My office tells when you speak to me you will say #HolaMatamela."

And, with the May 8 elections in mind, they did.

"Have you taken your son to the police as you stated you would do?" asked one, referring to an election fund scandal. There are allegations that the funds emanated from the controversial prison services company Bosasa to Ramaphosa's ANC presidential bid account, through his son Andile's account.

Another user wanted to know why the Cabinet was full of old people to which Ramaphosa replied diplomatically: "I'm a firm believer in the ability of young people to give leadership as they are courageous, innovative and creative."

The death penalty came up too:

Ramaphosa also received questions, such as: "With you being a billionaire why are you taking [a] Presidential salary while u can easily do without it. You can redirect this money to support best young entrepreneurs entities," @Sbumatiso tweeted.

"Mr President @CyrilRamaphosa you promised to be there for Alcoholics, Drug addicts, and [those] suffering from depression.

I want to know how are you planning to eradicate drugs, alcohol abuse from our streets as they're destroying our future leaders and families."

"Dear honorable @CyrilRamaphosa can you deal decisively with the scourge of women abuse. Women are missing every day."

And the hopeful: "Eita #HolaMatamela ...please decrease Petrol Price by R7 in May... its my birthday month!! @CyrilRamaphosa.

There was not too much joking from the president as he preferred to stay serious, while debates started among users in his replies.

He noted that the ANC felt government was doing well with transformation, but the private sector not so much, he expressed excitement over the fourth industrial revolution, while the questions came in on topics ranging from youth unemployment to data costs to evictions.

One user wanted to know when elections would go digital.

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