We all know by now that ANC Youth League president
Julius Malema is not fond of journalists. But he really
dislikes Piet Rampedi.
This became abundantly evident at a press conference
Malema called at Luthuli House in Johannesburg in
February following an expose by Rampedi and City Press
colleague Dumisane Lubisi of the youth league president's
wealth, accumulated from his involvement in tender
projects in Limpopo.
"He is only a small boy who cannot unseat me,� Malema
raged, much to the entertainment of the crowd, who were
also told that Rampedi is a " poor, stupid reporter who
accepts brown envelopes� .
Rampedi remained calm despite being labelled a
"naturally negative reporter whose mission is to destroy
ANC comrades, particularly in Limpopo�, which, incidentally,
is Rampedi's home province.
But the damage had been done. Rampedi and Lubisi
had managed to discredit the notion that the youth leader
was a "man of the people� and, in the weeks that followed,
the issue was the source of debate among South Africans
around the world.
Rampedi cut his teeth in broadcast journalism at both
e.tv and the SABC before moving to City Press in 2008.
His love for the profession goes back a long way, he says,
to his youth in the Limpopo village of Ga-Mokgwathi.
His passion for history and debating in high school
prompted his English teacher to suggest a career in
journalism, but it was a school trip to the SABC studios in
Johannesburg in 1997 that sealed the deal.
The 29-year-old is driven by a wish to make a difference
to the lives of ordinary people who would be voiceless if
it was not for his probing of the political powers-that-be
� which is exactly what has put him at odds with some the
country's top politicians. � Valencia Talane
Lunch spot: Lesenkeng, Polokwane, Limpopo