Cyril Ramaphosa: All you need to know about the newly elected South African President

Cyril Ramaphosa has been elected as South Africa’s President. From 2014 to 2018, he served as the country’s Deputy President, under President Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa is the head of South Africa’s National Planning Commission, the body responsible for smooth functioning of the government and planning the development of the nation. Ramaphosa beat Jacob Zuma’s favoured candidate to become the elected President of the African National Congress in at the party’s 54th Elective Conference in 2017.

Born in Soweto, Johannesburg, Ramaphosa took the political plunge in his student days and was a member of the South African Students Organisation. After his legal studies, Ramaphosa joined the Council of Unions of South Africa (CUSA) as a legal advisor. He was arrested for forming a union named the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) but later in 1982, Ramaphosa became the first secretary of NUM.

Ramaphosa fought against the apartheid government in South Africa and was appointed the first General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU), followed by his election as the Secretary-General of the African National Congress in 1991, where he headed the negotiating team of the ANC.

In 1997, Ramaphosa moved to the business sector, after losing presidential elections to Thabo Mbeki. He became the director of New Africa Investments Limited. He heads many corporate entities and is one of South Africa’s richest men with Forbes estimating his wealth at $675 million.

However, he returned to politics in 2012, when he ran for the position of deputy president of ANC and won by an overwhelming majority.

In May 2014, Jacob Zuma appointed Ramaphosa the Deputy President of South Africa.

Throughout his career, Ramaphosa’s name has been involved in many controversies and allegations. There were several rumours about extra-marital affairs and paying the individuals involved in those affairs.

People have expressed relief and happiness at the resignation of Jacob Zuma. Many citizens of South Africa took to Twitter to express their approval of Zuma’s decision to step down. People across the country have considerable hope from the new president and seem optimistic about his appointment.