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Cyril Ramaphosa finally fulfils his political destiny - FT

    For 20 years, Cyril Ramaphosa has been the nearly-man of South African politics. A protégé of Nelson Mandela, who wanted Mr Ramaphosa to succeed him, the gifted young man from Soweto made his name first as a formidable union leader under apartheid and then, in the closing days of white minority rule, as the lead negotiator with the government of FW de Klerk.

Only after he failed to fulfil his political destiny, when he lost out to Thabo Mbeki in the 1994 race to become South Africa's deputy president under Mandela, did he step aside a few years later from politics to make his fortune.

Now, at 65, Mr Ramaphosa is the nearly-man no more. Although many wrote off his political career, even after he returned to politics and became deputy president in 2014, Mr Ramaphosa has played the long game. Much criticised for staying silent under Jacob Zuma who, many claim, damaged the party with his inept appointments and reputation for alleged corruption, he may now win plaudits for playing his hand just right.

The article does not mention that at least two of the other important functions within the ANC power structure did not go to candidates of the Ramaphosa camp - but to Zuma flunkies. Internal strife within the ANC is enormous - Zuma is still fighting to stay out of jail.

by Bjinse on Wed Dec 20th, 2017 at 09:31:23 PM EST
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