Cape Town, South Africa

The Week Middle East - - News | The World At A Glance -

Ramaphosa takes charge: Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as pres­i­dent of South Africa last Thurs­day, hours af­ter the abrupt late-night res­ig­na­tion of Ja­cob Zuma. Ramaphosa (pic­tured), 65, was elected leader of the ANC last year – against Zuma’s wishes – and the party had been try­ing to get the scan­dal-rid­den pres­i­dent to stand down grace­fully for weeks. Ramaphosa now faces the mam­moth task of re­viv­ing the for­tunes of his party and his coun­try, af­ter an eightyear, scan­dal-plagued Zuma pres­i­dency marked by eco­nomic mis­man­age­ment and ram­pant cor­rup­tion. In a state of the na­tion ad­dress, Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa vowed to “turn the tide of cor­rup­tion” in a “new dawn” for South Africa.

A for­mer lawyer and trade union­ist, Ramaphosa was the ANC’s chief negotiator in the talks that led to the dis­man­tling of apartheid in 1994. Nel­son Man­dela favoured him as his heir, but the pres­i­dency went to Thabo Mbeki in 1999. Ramaphosa quit front-line politics (while re­main­ing in the ANC) and went into busi­ness, build­ing up a for­tune of about £320m. He be­came deputy pres­i­dent in 2014, and beat Zuma’s pre­ferred can­di­date, his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to the ANC lead­er­ship.

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