Matamela Cyril Ramphosa  

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa has long been considered a potential presidential candidate and ran in the 1997 ANC Presidential election, ultimately losing to Thabo Mbeki.

He is currently the Deputy President of SA and ANC under President Jacob Zuma since 2014.

Born on 17 November 1952 in Soweto, South Africa, he studied at the University of Limpopo and University of South Africa.
While at university, Ramaphosa became involved in student politics and joined the South African Students Organisation (SASO), and the Black People’s Convention (BPC).

He was detained in solitary confinement for 11 months in 1974 under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act, for organising pro-Frelimorallies. In 1976 he was detained again, following the unrest in Soweto, and held for six months at John Vorster Square under the Terrorism Act.

After his release, he became a law clerk for a Johannesburg firm of attorneys and continued with his articles through correspondence with the University of South Africa (UNISA), where he obtained his B. Proc. Degree in 1981. He completed his articles in the same year, and joined the Council of Unions of South Africa (CUSA) as an advisor in the legal department.

Ramaphosa announced that he would seek the ANC Presidency in 2017, with his second run for President immediately placing him as a front-runner for the party leadership. Ramaphosa launched his campaign slogan as #CR17 Siyavuma.

In May Ramaphosa defended his decision to apologise for the killing of mine workers in Marikana in August 2012.
Ramaphosa apologised for the way in which the Marikana shootings unfolded, but denied any involvement in the killing of 34 Lonmin miners in 2012.

In August 2017, Ramaphosa was involved in a scandal which alleged he had been in several extramarital affairs and was involved in paying money to alleged individuals while maintaining the affairs. Ramaphosa later denied the allegations claiming they were politically motivated in order to derail his presidential campaign.

By August 2017, Ramaphosa had received the endorsement of the trade union Cosatu, the National Union of Mineworkers as well as the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng provincial ANC leadership.
Individuals who have also stepped forward to support Ramaphosa include education minister Angie Motshekga, Cosatu’s president Sdumo Dlamini, former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and former KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu.
ANC National Executive Committee member Mathole Motshekga says Ramaphosa is the only candidate fit to lead the ruling party in accordance with its tradition of succession.
The South African Communist Party (SACP) say they want Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma when the ANC elects its new leadership in December.
ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu has come out in full support of Ramaphosa taking over the party presidency from Jacob Zuma during the party’s elective conference in December.
Mthembu says his decision to support Ramaphosa is based on a decision taken during the 1949 conference.
“You know in1949, this glorious organisation took a conference decision that a serving Deputy President must moving forward, be the person that gets into the position of President, replacing the outgoing president,” adds Mthembu.

– By