Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa (born 17 November 1952) is a South African politician. He is President elect of South Africa, as a result of the resignation of Jacob Zuma, and become the fifth President of South Africa following a vote of the National Assembly held on 15 February 2018.
Previously an anti-apartheid activist, trade union leader and businessman, he has been the Deputy President of South Africa since 2014.
He was elected as President of the African National Congress (ANC) at the ANC National Conference in Nasrec, South of Johannesburg in December 2017.
He is also the Chairman of the National Planning Commission, which is responsible for strategic planning for the future of South Africa, with the goal of rallying the nation "around a common set of objectives and priorities to drive development over the longer term".
He is respected as a skillful negotiatorand strategist who acted as the ANC's Chief Negotiator during South Africa's transition to democracy.
Ramaphosa built up the biggest and most powerful trade union in South Africa—the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
He played a crucial role, with Roelf Meyer of the National Party, during the negotiations to bring about a peaceful end to apartheid and steer the country towards its first fully democratic elections in April 1994.
Ramaphosa was Nelson Mandela’s choice for future president. Today, Cyril Ramaphosa is well known as a prominent businessman and has an estimated net worth of over $450 million with 31 properties and previously held notable ownership in companies such as McDonald's South Africa, chairperson of board for MTN and member of the board for Lonmin.
In spite of his credentials as an important proponent of South Africa's peaceful transition to democracy, he has also been widely criticised for the conduct of his business interests.
Although he has never been indicted for illegal activity in any of these controversies. Controversial business dealings include acting as Chairperson for the MTN Group during the MTN Irancell scandal.
When a disgruntled former employee, Mr Chris Kilowan, alleged that the organisation had bribed officials in Iran, however the Hoffmann Commission's finding concluded:
"The committee exonerated MTN and found that Mr Kilowan who had given two statements in arbitration proceedings brought by Turkcell against the Islamic Republic of Iran and a deposition in the United States proceedings against MTN was in the words of the committee 'shown to be a fantasist and a conspiracy theorist'"; his joint venture with Glencore and allegations of benefitting illegally from coal deals with Eskom which he has staunchly denied.
During which Glencore was in the public spotlight for its tendentious business activities involving Tony Blair in the Middle East; and his employment on the board of directors of Lonmin while taking an active stance when the Marikana Massacre took place on Lonmin's Marikana premises.
On 15 August 2012 he called for action against the Marikana miners' strike, which he called "dastardly criminal" conduct.
He later admitted and regretted his involvement in the act and said that it could have been avoided if contingency plans had been made prior to the labour strike.. He is a member of the Venda tribe.
However, Twenty-three years after the end of the racist, repressive apartheid regime, South Africa remains a country with enormous resources and great wealth but also vast inequality and poverty.
Though successive ANC governments have made huge efforts to build homes and supply basic services to millions of people, they have been unable to meet expectations. Many people live without electricity or sanitation. Schooling and healthcare are often rudimentary. One recent survey found eight out of 10 nine-year-olds in South Africa are functionally illiterate. Levels of violent crime are among the highest in the world, with poor South Africans suffering most.