Cyril Ramaphosa Biography: Childhood, Age, Career, Controversies

Cyril Ramaphosa Biography

Cyril Ramaphosa Biography: Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa is the fifth and current President of South Africa after apartheid. Following the resignation of his predecessor Jacob Zuma and the subsequent vote of the National Assembly, he assumed office on February 15, 2018.(Cyril Ramaphosa age)

Widely regarded as a skilled strategist and negotiator, he was elected as the President of the African National Congress (ANC). At the ANC National Conference in Nasrek, south of Johannesburg, in December 2017 as well as the chairman of the National Planning Commission. He previously served as the ANC’s chief negotiator during South Africa’s transition to democracy.(Cyril Ramaphosa Biography)

He founded the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the largest and most powerful trade union in South Africa, and was instrumental in bringing a nonviolent end to apartheid. Ramaphosa is also a highly successful businessman with an estimated net worth of over $675 million and formerly holds substantial shares in companies such as McDonald’s South Africa and chairs the board of directors in the MTN Group.(Cyril Ramaphosa Biography)

Although he has not been officially convicted of any crime, he faced several serious controversies in his career, including the MTN Irancel scandal and the Marikana massacre.(Cyril Ramaphosa age)

Basic Information

Stage Name: Cyril Ramaphosa
Real Name Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa
Occupation President of South Africa
Date of Birth November 17, 1952 (69 Years Old)
Place of Birth Soweto, South Africa.
Gender Male
Nationality South African
Father Samuel Ramaphosa
Mother Erdmuth
official website

Cyril Ramaphosa Biography

Cyril Ramaphosa Biography

Childhood & Early Life

Born on November 17, 1952, in Soweto, Johannesburg, Matamela is the son of Cyril Ramaphosa Erdmuth and Samuel Ramaphosa. His father worked in a police department while his mother was a homemaker. Ramaphosa has a brother named Douglas. He grew up in the poor settlement of Soweto.(Cyril Ramaphosa age)

He attended Tshilidzi Primary School and Sekano Naton High School and matriculated in 1971 from Mafafuli High School in Sibasa, Venda. He enrolled at the University of the North in Turfloop in 1972 to study law.
While still a university student, Ramaphosa became involved in active politics and became a member of the South African Students’ Organization (SASO) and the Black People’s Convention (BPC).


As a result, he was placed in solitary confinement for 11 months in 1974 under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act for his involvement in organizing pro-Freelimo rallies. He was arrested for the second time by the authorities under the Terrorism Act in 1976 after the unrest in his native city.(Cyril Ramaphosa Biography)

He was kept in custody for the next six months.
After his release, he began working as a law clerk for the Johannesburg Firm of Attorneys as well as furthering his legal studies through correspondence from the University of South Africa (UNISA), earning a B.A. Proc received. degree in 1981.(Cyril Ramaphosa age)

Political Career

  • After graduating from law school, Cyril Ramaphosa immediately became a member of the Council of Unions of South Africa (CUSA) as a consultant in the legal department. In 1982, inspired by his superiors, he founded the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). *Acting as the new organization’s first secretary, he organized the conferences that eventually led to the founding of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). He was the December 1985 keynote speaker at COSATU’s launch rally in Durban.
  • He was eventually elected as the General Secretary of the Sangh and held the position till June 1991. Under his leadership, the union saw exponential growth, growing from 6,000 members in 1982 to 300,000 in 1992.
  • In 1990, he was one of the leading figures in the movement against the division based on color in South Africa. He joined ANC political prisoners released on a visit to Lusaka, Zambia.(Cyril Ramaphosa Biography)
  • He was appointed chairman of the National Reception Committee, which was formed to organize the welcome rallies for the release and subsequent release of Nelson Mandela. He was also a member of the International Mandela Reception Committee.
  • In July 1991, after winning an election at a convention in Durban, he emerged as the new General Secretary of the ANC. Ramaphosa led a selected group of ANC members to negotiate an end to apartheid with the National Party government.(Cyril Ramaphosa age)
  • In 1994, the first full democratic election in the history of South Africa was held and Ramaphosa was elected as a Member of Parliament. Nelson Mandela was made the President of South Africa in the same year.
    Ramaphosa later presided over the Constitutional Assembly of Parliament and played a key role in the government of national unity.
  • Despite not being a member of the Communist Party (SACP), Ramaphosa maintained over the years that he was a South African socialist. After being denied a second term for Nelson Mandela, Ramaphosa contested the South African presidential election but lost to Thabo Mbeki. Following the defeat, Ramaphosa resigned from all his political positions and entered the private sector, where he was appointed as the director of New Africa Investments Ltd.(Cyril Ramaphosa Biography)
  • After much speculation, he returned to national politics in December 2012 for the post of Vice President. On 18 December, he was elected as the vice-president of the ANC with 3,018 votes. He became the Vice President of South Africa on 25 May 2014. He was sworn in by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Was appointed by then-President Jacob Zuma.
  • Soon the President appointed him as the Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly in terms of Article 91(4) of the Constitution and the Chairman of the National Planning Commission.
  • Ramaphosa was elected president of the ANC on September 18, 2017, after winning a close race against President Zuma’s ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. On February 15, 2018, Ramaphosa became the fifth and current President of South Africa after Zuma resigned.

Cyril Ramaphosa Biography

Business Career

  • Cyril Ramaphosa is one of the most successful businessmen in South Africa, with Forbes estimating his net worth at $675 million. He has invested in Resources Sector, Energy Sector, Real Estate, Banking, Insurance and Telecommunications (SEACOM).
  • In 2001, he founded the Shanduka Group, an investment holding company. He also served as the chairman of The Bidwest Group Ltd and MTN and as a non-executive director of McStyle Holdings, Alexander Forbes and Standard Bank, to name a few.He struck a 20-year master franchise agreement in 2011 to run 145 McDonald’s restaurants in South Africa.(Cyril Ramaphosa Biography)
  • Following the announcement of his participation in the 2012 general election, Ramaphosa resigned from all positions he had previously held in the private sector.

Other Ventures

  • Ramaphosa owns the Nataba Nyoni Farm in Mpumalanga, where, as of August 2017, he owned about 100 Ankol breeding cows. In 2017, he co-authored the book ‘Cattle of the Ages, Stories and Portraits of the Uncle Cattle of Southern Africa’.(Cyril Ramaphosa Biography)
  • He also published the books ‘Organizing on the Mines’ in 1985 and ‘Constitutional Law: Analysis and Case’ in 2002. The latter was co-written by Ziad Motala.

Controversies & Scandals

  • During his tenure as chairman of MTN Group, a former MTN employee named Chris Kilovan accused the company of bribing government officials in Iran. The incident was termed by the media as the MTN Irancel scandal.(Cyril Ramaphosa Biography)
  • A commission was set up under the chairmanship of retired British judge Lord Hoffman to investigate the scam. The commission found MTN “not guilty” of any of the allegations and concluded that Kilovan was an imaginist and a conspiracy theorist.
  • On 16 August 2012, police opened fire on a gathering of striking Lonmin workers on a “koppi” (top of the hill) near the Nakaneng shack settlement in Marikana. Thirty-four miners were killed and 78 others were injured in the shootout. It was later revealed that most of the victims were shot behind and away from the police line. Dubbed the “Maricana Massacre” by the media, it was the deadliest act of institutional violence since the end of the apartheid era and caused national outrage.(Cyril Ramaphosa age)
  • It was later revealed that Ramaphosa, who was a Lonmin shareholder, had been asked by the company’s management to conduct “concomitant actions” against “criminal” protesters. As a result, many saw him as the man responsible for the massacre. However, it was eventually concluded that since the deaths had already taken place, their intervention was not the reason for the increased police presence at the site.

Awards & Achievements

  • Cyril Ramaphosa was awarded the Olof Palme Prize in Stockholm in October 1987.
  • He was named an Honorary Actuary by the Actuarial Society of South Africa for his remarkable work in developing actuarial professionals from historically disadvantaged communities in South Africa.
  • He has been given honorary degrees by several renowned universities including the University of Natal, the University of Port Elizabeth, the University of Cape Town, the University of the North, the National University of Lesotho, Boston University and the University of Massachusetts. Pennsylvania.
  • In October 1991, he began teaching law as a visiting professor at Stanford University, USA.

Personal Life

  • Cyril Ramaphosa has been married twice. His first wife was businessman Nomazizi Matshoshisa. Both got divorced in 2008. He later married Dr. Tshepo Motsepe, sister of mining billionaire Patrice Motsepe. They have four children together. In 2017, allegations of extra-marital affairs were leveled against him, but he vehemently denied them, claiming that he was politically motivated.
  • He founded the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation in 2004. The organization’s mission is to promote the development of an inclusive society that is empowered.(Cyril Ramaphosa Biography)


  • Ramaphosa was appointed the first Vice President of the Commonwealth Business Council.

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