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Profile of ANC presidential candidate : Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa

MATAMELA Cyril Ramaphosa was born on November 17, 1952, in Johannesburg. His family was moved from Western Native Township to Soweto in 1962 where he attended Tshilidzi Primary School. He completed high school at Mphaphuli High School in Sibasa, Venda, in 1971. He began his studies at the University of the North in 1972, where he became involved in student politics, joining the South African Student Organisation (Saso) and the Black People’s Convention (BPC).

Ramaphosa was appointed by President Jacob Zuma as deputy president of the Republic of South Africa on 25 May, 2014. In terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa the deputy president is appointed to assist the president in the execution of the functions of the government. He was detained in 1974 for organising pro-Frelimo rallies that were held to celebrate the independence of Mozambique.

He was detained for a second time in 1976 following the Soweto student uprising. He became the first general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers in 1982. In 1991 he was elected ANC secretary-general and subsequently became head of the ANC team that negotiated with the apartheid government the transition to democracy. Ramaphosa moved into the private sector in 1996 and in 2001 founded Shanduka Group, a diversified investment holding company. He resigned from Shanduka in 2012 following his appointment as deputy president of South Africa.

Ramaphosa holds a law degree from the University of South Africa. He has received several honorary doctorates from local and international universities and received the Olof Palme prize in Stockholm in 1987. He was awarded the National Order of the Baobab in Silver in 2009 for his contribution to the multiparty negotiations and for chairing the Constitutional Assembly. He was also the deputy chairperson of South Africa’s national planning Commission. He is the current deputy president of South Africa.