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False! President Tinubu not ignored by President Ramaphosa during inauguration

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Claim: X users allege that Nigerian President Bola Tinubu was ignored and disgraced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa during his second-term inauguration.

False! President Tinubu not ignored by President Ramaphosa during inauguration

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On June 14, 2024, Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected by South African lawmakers for a second term after a coalition agreement between his African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA). Ramaphosa secured 283 votes against Julius Malema’s 44 votes. 

During his swearing-in on June 19, 2024, in Pretoria, Ramaphosa declared:

“In the presence of everyone assembled here, and in full realisation of the high calling I assume as President… I, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa.”

Several heads of state attended the event, including Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Angola’s Joao Lourenco, the Republic of the Congo’s Denis Sassou Nguesso, and Eswatini’s King Mswati III.

Shortly after the ceremony, a one-minute video began circulating online, shared by various Nigerians, claiming that President Ramaphosa ignored President Tinubu. The video shows Ramaphosa greeting guests in the front row while Tinubu stands behind the dignitaries, observing them receiving handshakes from the newly inaugurated President.

An X user, Pearls (@MissPearls), posted the video with the caption: 

“Ashiwaju looking lost as Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa ignores him while thanking others for gracing his inauguration!” This post received over 2,858 likes, 150,000 views, and 1,345 reposts by June 20, 2024.

Another X user, Aisha Yesufu (@AishaYesufu), shared the same video, saying: “My people say Pikin wey no hear word for house na for outside dem go disgrace am! Tinubu Disgraced Once Again In South Africa.” This post garnered over 113,000 views, 1,778 likes, and 693 reposts. 

Similarly, Chude Nnamdi (@chude__) asked: 

“Why did the South African president ignore Tinubu while greeting other foreign dignitaries who honoured his invitation?” His post received over 52,800 views, 670 likes, and 400 reposts.

Here are some comments on the posts: 

Babandan (@DogaraSamson): “Honestly, that’s very irresponsible of the SA president.”

@adetiloyeclaron2021 (@adetiloyeclaro2): “Disrespectful! A whole ECOWAS Chairman and President of Giant of Africa. That South African president must be dealt with.”

Peppermint_D.C (@Peppermint63581): “That was a whole level of disrespect. Not even a handshake or any form of recognition…”

False! President Tinubu not ignored by President Ramaphosa during inauguration
Picture collage of the claims.


A closer examination of the video reveals that the inauguration moderator (or compere) could be heard recalling President Ramaphosa to the podium for the final compliments and national anthem, interrupting the greetings. This interruption led to the misconception that Tinubu was ignored.

A keyword search uncovered a 4-hour, 13-minute, and 5-second long footage of the event by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC News) on YouTube. At the 3-hour, 20-minute, and 20-second mark, the video clearly shows President Ramaphosa later recognising President Tinubu with a handshake. 

Further examination of official statements from President Tinubu’s aides on their verified social media accounts revealed a response from O’tega Ogra, the Senior Special Assistant to Tinubu on Digital Communication, Strategy, and New Media. Addressing @AishaYesufu, Ogra wrote:

“For the record:

  1. The first row at today’s inauguration was reserved for South African kings/royalty.
  2. President Ramaphosa wasn’t expected to start greeting dignitaries at the time of the video you shared; he was respectfully recalled to the podium by the inauguration compere.
  3. Immediately after President Ramaphosa finished the anthem, he greeted the visiting presidents seated in the second row.”

Cross-referencing credible news channels, no exclusive footage or reports were found depicting President Tinubu being ignored or snubbed at the event.


The claim that President Tinubu was ignored by President Ramaphosa is false. The video clip circulating online does not capture the full context of the event. Ramaphosa did acknowledge and greet President Tinubu and other guests after the National Anthem was taken. 

The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2024 Kwame KariKari Fellowship, in partnership with Bridge Radio 98.7FM, Asaba, to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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