GETTING TO KNOW RAMAPHOSA
Written by: Shanice Pillay
Newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa was born in 1952 in Soweto.
The politician (66) who was Nelson Mandela’s right-hand towards the 1994 transition, went to Tshilidzi Primary School and Sekano Ntoane High School. He completed his secondary education at Mphaphuli High School in Limpopo. Ramaphosa registered for a law degree at the University of the North in 1972 and that is when he went full force on politics. The now-veteran businessman joined the South Africa Student Organisation, the Black People’s Convention, and the Student Christian Movement.
The highlights of his political participation in his youth were when the apartheid government detained him in a solitary confinement for 11 months for organising pro-Frelimo rallies. He was also detained at John Vorster Square under the Terrorism Act.
Following his release, Ramaphosa was employed as a law clerk at a Johannesburg law firm. He continued with his legal studies through correspondence at the University of South Africa, where he later obtained a junior degree in law (BProc Law).
During his time as a politician, Ramaphosa built up one of the biggest trade unions in South Africa, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). He also played a crucial role in the negotiations during apartheid and acted as the chief negotiator during South Africa’s transition process.
After Mandela’s swearing in, in 1994 and having been excluded from the cabinet, Ramaphosa left the political scene and went to business full time.
In 2014 he made a come back. In May of the year, he was sworn in as deputy president of the country. On 16 December 16 2017, he saw his vision come to life, when he won the ANC presidential race against Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. He was officially sworn in as the president of the Republic of South Africa on Thursday, 15 February 2018.
*Caption – Cyril Ramaphosa, newly-elected president of South Africa