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Cyril Ramaphosa Biography, Family, Wife

Cyril Ramaphosa Biography

Cyril Ramaphosa whose full name is Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa was born on 17th November 1952 in Soweto South Africa. He is a South African politician, businessman, activist, and trade union leader.

Cyril Ramaphosa Education Background

He attended Tshilidzi Primary School and Sekano Ntoane High School in Soweto. In 1971 he matriculated from Mphaphuli High School in Sibasa, Venda.

In 1972 he registered to study law at the University of the North (Turfloop).

Cyril Ramaphosa Political Career

While at the University of the North (Turfloop) he became involved in student politics and joined the South African Students Organisation (SASO), and the Black People’s Convention (BPC).

In 1974 he was detained in solitary confinement for eleven months under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act, for organising pro-Frelimo rallies. In 1976 he was detained again, following the unrest in Soweto, and held for six months at John Vorster Square under the Terrorism Act.

After his release, he became a law clerk for a Johannesburg firm of attorneys and continued with his articles through correspondence with the University of South Africa (UNISA), where he obtained his B. Proc. Degree in 1981.

He completed his articles in the same year, and joined the Council of Unions of South Africa (Cusa) as an advisor in the legal department.

Fight against Apartheid

In August 1982, Cusa resolved to form National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and in December Ramaphosa became its first secretary. He was elected as the first General Secretary of the union, a position he held until he resigned in June 1991, following his election as Secretary General of the African National Congress (ANC).

Ramaphosa served as chairman of the National Reception committee, which co-ordinated arrangements for the release of Nelson Mandela and subsequent welcome rallies within South Africa, and also became a member of the international Mandela Reception committee.

He was elected General-Secretary of the ANC in a conference held in Durban in July 1991. Ramaphosa was a visiting Professor of Law at Stanford University in the United States in October 1991.

In 1985 he helped to establish the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) when he broke away from CUSA.When COSATU joined forces with the United Democratic Front (UDF) political movement against the National Party government of P. W. Botha, Ramaphosa took a leading role in what became known as the Mass Democratic Movement (MDM).

Cyril Ramaphosa Political Career

In 1991 he was elected as Secretary General of the African National Congress, he became head of the negotiation team of the ANC in negotiating the end of apartheid with the National Party government.

In 1994 after the first fully democratic elections he became a member of parliament; he was elected the chairperson of its Constitutional Assembly on 24 May 1994 and played a central role in the government of national unity.

In January 1997 he resigned from his political politics after he lost the race to become President of South Africa to Thabo Mbeki. He came in first place in the 1997 election to the ANC’s National Executive Committee.

In December 2007, he was again elected to the ANC National Executive Committee, this time in 30th place with 1,910 votes.

On 17th December 2012 he became a candidate for the Deputy Presidency, on 18th December 2012 he was elected deputy president of the ANC.

On May 25, 2014 he was appointed Deputy President by Jacob Zuma. He was made Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly in terms of section 91(4) of the Constitution. His responsibilities will include: The affairs of the national executive in Parliament; the programming of parliamentary business initiated by the national executive, within the time allocated for that purpose and ensuring that Cabinet members attend to their parliamentary responsibilities.

On 3rd June 2014 he was appointed as Chairman of the National Planning Commission, with Minister in the Presidency for Planning by President Jacob Zuma.


He is the founder and executive chairman of Shanduka Group. Shanduka Group has investments in the Resources Sector, Energy Sector, Real Estate, Banking, Insurance, and Telecoms (SEACOM).

He is also chairman of The Bidvest Group Limited, and MTN. His other non-executive directorships include Macsteel Holdings, Alexander Forbes and Standard Bank.

In March 2007 he was appointed Non-Executive joint Chairman of Mondi, a leading international paper and packaging group, when the company demerged from Anglo American plc.

Cyril Ramaphosa Honours

In October 1987 he received the Olof Palme prize in Stockholm.

In 2004, he was voted 34th in the Top 100 Great South Africans.

Cyril Ramaphosa Wife

He was married business woman Nomazizi Mtshotshisa, but the couple divorced. Ramaphosa later married Dr. Tshepo Motsepe the sister of billionaire and mining magnate Patrice Motsepe. Ramaphosa has four children.

Cyril Ramaphosa Photo

Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa

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