Cyril Ramaphosa wife, Farmgate, Phala Phala president, age

Cyril Ramaphosa was born on November 17, 1952 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is a key figure in South African politics. Widely praised for his role in negotiating the end of apartheid, Ramaphosa has served as President of South Africa since 2018 and President of the African National Congress (ANC) since 2017.

Early life and activism

Ramaphosa’s early life was marked by the oppression of apartheid. Born to Samuel and Edemut Ramaphosa, he grew up in the Native township of Western Transvaal, now part of Gauteng Province. In 1962, his family was forced to relocate to the township of Soweto, outside Johannesburg. In 1972, Ramaphosa began studying law at the University of the North (now the University of Limpopo). His involvement with the Student Christian Movement and the South African Student Organisation marked the beginning of his activism.

In 1974, Ramaphosa was arrested for organizing a rally to celebrate Mozambique’s independence and spent 11 months in solitary confinement. After his release, he became active in the Black People’s Congress. The aftermath of the 1976 Soweto uprising led to his re-arrest and six months in solitary confinement. Despite these challenges, Ramaphosa graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of South Africa (UNISA) in 1981.

The rise of trade unions

Ramaphosa’s union career began when he was hired as legal adviser to the Council of Trade Unions of South Africa (CUSA). He played a key role in the formation of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in 1982 and became its general secretary. His leadership role in the NUM, especially during the 1987 strike, demonstrated his negotiating skills and solidified his reputation as a strong union leader.

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Democratic Transition

Ramaphosa’s political influence grew with the unbanning of the ANC in 1990. In 1991, he was elected secretary-general of the ANC and became the lead negotiator in the negotiations to end apartheid. In the historic 1994 elections, he chaired the Constituent Assembly, which drafted South Africa’s new constitution. In recognition of his efforts, Ramaphosa was awarded the Silver Order of the Baobab in 2009.

Business Investment

After retiring from politics in 1996, Ramaphosa turned his attention to business. He joined New Africa Investments Limited (NAIL) and later founded the Shanduka Group in 2001. His business acumen made him one of the richest men in South Africa. The Shanduka Foundation was established in 2004 and renamed the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation in 2015, focusing on social and economic development.

Return to politics

Ramaphosa returned to politics in 2012, becoming deputy president of the African National Congress. In 2014, he was named deputy president of South Africa. In 2017, he ran a leadership campaign centered on fighting corruption and promoting economic growth, and was elected president of the African National Congress. This enabled him to succeed Jacob Zuma as the country’s president in 2018, following Zuma’s resignation.

Challenges of the Presidency

President Ramaphosa has focused his term on fighting entrenched corruption and addressing economic challenges. His government has launched investigations into corruption in government-controlled companies and set up special courts to hear corruption cases. Despite these efforts, intra-party opposition and factional fighting within the ANC continue to pose major challenges.

Family life

Ramaphosa’s personal life includes his marriage to Dr. Tshepo Motsepe in 1996. The couple has three children. He also has two children with Hope Ramaphosa and Nomazizi Mtshotshisa. His children are named Tumelo, Andile, Kiki, Mashudu and Tulisa.

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Andile Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa’s eldest son, Andile, has often been in the spotlight. He has been the subject of controversy over a multi-million rand BOSASA deal and a R6 million Covid-19 project. Despite these issues, Andile remains a staunch supporter of his father, often defending him and refuting critics.

Tamelo Ramaphosa

The youngest son, Tumelo, is an entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, and fashion lover. He founded StudEx Wildlife and holds a master’s degree from Hult International Business School. Tumelo’s diverse interests reflect his entrepreneurial spirit.

Looking ahead

As South Africa’s 2024 national election approaches, Ramaphosa and the ANC face major challenges. For the first time, the party is in danger of not winning an outright majority and may need to form a coalition to govern. In addition, the rise of the People’s Spear Party (MK Party), which is allied with former President Zuma, poses a threat to the ANC’s dominance.

Ramaphosa’s leadership, known for his efforts to fight corruption and his economic strategy, will play a key role in the upcoming elections. Despite the challenges, his legacy as a negotiator, businessman and political leader will continue to shape South Africa’s future.

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