Yesterday (18 December 2017) Cyril Ramaphosa was appointed as the new President of the ANC.
Ramaphosa swung the vote, competing against current Deputy President and former Health Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Both candidates have political careers that span decades and had potential to reshape the ANC after years of instability within the party.
Following this announcement, COSMO rounds up 5 facts you need to know about the 14th President of the ANC, who could possibly be the next president of SA in the 2019 national elections.
1 His first name is not actually Cyril
It’s Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa.
2 He’s one of the richest men in SA
Forbes estimated his net worth at about $450 million (just under R6 billion) .
3 He was a freedom fighter
Ramaphosa was detained as a student activist in the ‘70s. He spent over a year in jail for being involved in the resistance – first for 11 months in Pretoria Central Prison and then six months at the John Vorster Square detention centre in Johannesburg for participating in the 1976 Soweto Uprising.
After a brief period as a lawyer, Ramaphosa returned to politics and became the first secretary-general of the National Union of Miners – the fastest-growing union in the world and the biggest union in South Africa with 650 000 mine workers.
4 He Was Involved in the Marikana Massacre
As then shareholder of Lonmin Mines, Ramaphosa called for police action during the Marikana tragedy – something that will now be remembered as one of the most violent examples of police brutality since the historical Sharpeville Massacre of 1960.
Ramaphosa has been cleared of all charges related to the murdered mine workers and apologised in a speech at Rhodes University for his language around the massacre.
5 Ramaphosa Almost Became Nelson Mandela’s Deputy
It is noted that Ramaphosa stood at Nelson Mandela’s side in his first public appearance after being released from Robben Island to an audience of thousands at City Hall in Cape Town.
According to Jakes Gerwel, former Director-General of the Presidency, Mandela ‘proposed Cyril Ramaphosa rather than Thabo Mbeki as deputy president to the ANC’s senior officials in 1994.’