South Africa: South African President Ramaphosa Did Not Snub Nigerian President Tinubu. Ignore Out-of-Context Video From Ramaphosa’s Inauguration

South African president Ramaphosa did not snub Nigerian president Tinubu. Ignore out-of-context video from Ramaphosa’s inauguration

IN SHORT: Nigerian President Bola Tinubu was among the world leaders who attended the inauguration of his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa. But online claims that Ramaphosa ignored Tinubu at the ceremony are false.

“President Tinubu looking lôst as Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa ignores him while thanking others for gracing his inauguration,” reads the caption of a video posted on Facebook on 20 June 2024.

Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in for a second term as South Africa’s president on 19 June 2024.

His Nigerian counterpart Bola Tinubu was among the heads of state who attended the ceremony.

In the video, Ramaphosa is seen exchanging pleasantries with guests in the front row of the stage. Tinubu can be seen standing in the second row.

The same video has been posted here and here. (Note: See more instances listed at the end of the report.)

But did Ramaphosa snub Tinubu? We checked.

No truth to the claim

The South African Broadcasting Corporation, the country’s public broadcaster, was one of the media houses that streamed Ramaphosa’s inauguration live on its YouTube channel. Ramaphosa can be seen shaking hands with Tinubu around the 3:20:17 mark of the live stream.

O’tega Ogra, Tinubu’s senior special assistant on media, took to social media to explain the situation.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Ogra denied claims that Ramaphosa had snubbed Tinubu. He said:

1. That first row at today’s inauguration was reserved for South African kings/royalty.2. The South African President wasn’t expected to start greeting dignitaries at the time of the video you shared and he was respectfully recalled to the podium by the inauguration compere (see video below).3. Immediately after President Ramaphosa finished the anthem, he went ahead to greet the visiting presidents who were all seated in the second row (similar to the way visiting presidents were seated in the third row during Nigeria’s own inauguration on May 29, 2023 – see pictures below).

The claim that Ramaphosa ignored Tinubu is not true. The clip circulating on social media is misleading.

The claim also appears here and here.