Cyril Ramaphosa’s Campaign Woes Become Internet Memes

(Bloomberg) -- With less than two months to go until elections, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is having a hard time.

Barely a day goes by without senior officials of his African National Congress party featuring in headlines about corruption. A televised judicial commission has heard testimony about their links to the Gupta family, friends with former President Jacob Zuma who allegedly used his influence to win state business, and Bosasa, a company whose chief operating officer appeared before a judicial commission and testified that his company paid bribes to government officials.

To add to his woes, the country is beset by the worst-ever scheduled power cuts and after VBS Mutual Bank collapsed late last year it was found to be taking illegal deposits from municipalities. Also, election campaigning went awry this week when he was stuck on a train for four hours.

That’s made him a target of social-media memes.

And all the problems are diverting attention from his plans to kick-start a stagnant economy.

Still, with the two main opposition parties struggling to find new ammunition now that they can no longer berate the ANC for keeping Zuma in power, he may have little to worry about -- aside from his dignity.

A poll released on Tuesday showed his party could win 61 percent of the vote in the May 8 elections, while only 16 percent of the electorate would back the Democratic Alliance and 9 percent the Economic Freedom Fighters.

As one of the country’s best-known newspaper columnists observed:

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