Cyril Ramaphosa is one of South Africa’s most celebrated political leaders. He first came to prominence in the 1980’s as general secretary of the National Union of Mine workers and as a major force in the domestic struggle for freedom.
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The 53rd ANC National Conference held in Maungang saw the return of Cyril Ramaphosa to the centre stage of national politics. To the great surprise of almost all South Africans, Ramaphosa was elected Deputy President of the ANC. One can’t deny that Ramaphosa is one of the most popular political figures in South Africa. He is widely credited with playing a major role in the negotiations that led to the democratic settlement in South Africa and devising South Africa’s Constitution.
“Cyril,” says Anthony Butler, “is the Forrest Gump of South African political history.” By this Butler means that Ramaphosa has been present in the foreground of virtually every important moment in the modern history of his country.
This commanding and fully updated and revised edition features a new chapter from the author covering the most recent and significant developments in the mogul’s life including his candidacy for Deputy President, his role in Mangaung, and the controversial events surrounding Lonmin and the Marikana mines. Based on rich interviews with many of the subject’s friends and contemporaries, it marries the historical context and the individual life in a way that brings Ramaphosa fully to life.
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Anthony Butler is Professor of Political Studies at the University of Cape Town. He has previously been a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge; Director of the Politics and Administration Programme at Birkbeck College, University of London; and Chair in Political Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. Butler is the author of four books and he writes a weekly column for Johannesburg’s Business Day newspaper.
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