IN THE FACE OF SOUTH AFRICA'S PAINFUL HISTORY AND ITS CONTINUING STRUGGLE WITH INEQUALITY .TIME TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT ECONOMIC CRIME.SOUTH AFRICA'S PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA REITERATES CORRUPTION CLEAN UP AFTER POLL WIN.

Who Is Cyril Ramaphosa, the Man Being Called South Africa's 'President in Waiting'?Acting president Cyril Ramaphosa looks set to become South Africa’s new president Thursday afternoon in an electoral formality, after scandal-hit Jacob Zuma resigned on Wednesday, more than a year before Zuma’s term formally ends in 2019.The development comes after a breakdown in talks between Zuma and Ramaphosa—Zuma’s ertswhile deputy and recently elected president of the ruling Africa National Congress (ANC) party—for a transition in power.

New ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa moments before winning.South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress (ANC), has a new president – Cyril Ramaphosa. But who is he?Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa was born on 17 November 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 registered to study law 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). He was detained in solitary confinement for 11 months in 1974 under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act for organising pro-Frelimo rallies. He was detained for the second time and held for six months in 1976 following the Soweto student uprising.While a law clerk for a Johannesburg firm of attorneys, he continued his studies through the University of South Africa (UNISA) obtaining his B. Proc degree in 1981. He then joined the Council of Unions of South Africa (CUSA) as a legal advisor.In 1982, at the request of the Council of Unions of South Africa (CUSA) he founded the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) with James Motlatsi and Elijah Barayi, and became the union’s first General Secretary. He was instrumental in building NUM into the most powerful union at the time, with membership rising from 6 000 to 300 000 during his tenure. He led mineworkers in one of the biggest strikes in South Africa’s history in 1987.As NUM General Secretary he was instrumental in the establishment of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and played a prominent role in the Mass Democratic Movement (MDM) when COSATU joined forces with the United Democratic Front (UDF) against the apartheid government. He went into hiding in July 1986 after the declaration of a state of emergency.He was later appointed chairperson of the Reception Committee to receive Rivonia trialists and in January 1990 accompanied released ANC political prisoners to Lusaka, Zambia. He served as chairperson of the National Reception Committee, which coordinated arrangements for the release of Nelson Mandela and subsequent welcome rallies within South Africa.Following the unbanning of the ANC, in 1991 he was elected ANC Secretary General at its first national conference in over 30 years. He became head of the ANC’s negotiation team at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) and the subsequent multi-party talks.Following South Africa’s first democratic elections on 27 April 1994, he became a Member of Parliament and was elected as Chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly. In that position, he was responsible for overseeing the drafting of South Africa’s internationally acclaimed first democratic Constitution. In 2009, this contribution was recognised with the award of the National Order of the Baobab in Silver.Even during his years in business Ramaphosa remained close to the ANC, serving as a member of the national disciplinary committee.But he made his major comeback onto the political scene at the ANC’s 2012 elective conference in Mangaung, Bloemfontein where he was elected deputy president of the ANC, and later of the country.Two years prior to this Ramaphosa became deputy chairman of the state-run National Planning Commission. He presided over its diagnostic report, which set out the problems facing the country in clear terms. A plan was drawn up to provide answers to the challenges identified in report. Known as the National Development Plan, it was tabled as a blue print for the type of society South Africa could become.The plan showed Ramaphosa’s strengths as an architect of social compacts.Since its tabling the plan has been left to gather dust.But it remains a point of reference, and serves as a counterpoint to calls for radical economic transformation.Ramaphosa is likely to emphasise stability  in government and the ANC. Given his history he is likely to want to stabilise the economy rather than to pursue radical interventions.Ramaphosa has a personal interest to secure a stabilising social compact akin to the one he negotiated in 1994 given developments that have left the country economically and socially weaker. These have included allegations that parts of the state have been taken over by corrupt civil servants and some private sector interests, high levels of unemployment and increasingly fractious public debates.Not surprisingly during his campaign trail he moulded his image on the sanctity of the rule of law and on the dictum that social stability hinges on respect of the rule of law.The big question mark over Ramaphosa is how effective he will be. Although he’s been the deputy president of the ANC and of the country for five years, some believe that his influence has been minimal and that he has not been able to imprint his leadership on the party  or the country.Will he be able to impose his will on those he now leads? Ramaphosa will be presiding over officials who have big personalities and have enjoyed long periods of political power. They are used to leading, not following.On completion of the Constitution drafting process, he left Parliament and his position as ANC Secretary General to move into business, joining New Africa Investments Limited. In 2001, he established Shanduka Group as a black-owned investment holding company, building up a diverse portfolio of listed and unlisted assets.In 2004, he established the Shanduka Foundation, focusing on education and small business development. The Foundation, which has since changed its name to Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, comprises Adopt-a-School Foundation, Black Umbrellas and the Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust. He is co-chairperson of the Advisory Board of the Kagiso Shanduka Trust, which is in partnership with the Free State Department of Education on a programme to develop schools in the province.He gained a wide range of business experience serving on the boards of some of Shanduka’s investee companies and other companies. He was a member of the United Nations Global Leadership Group that advised the Secretary General’s Special Representative on Business and Human Rights.He has received several awards. He was awarded the Olof Palme prize in October 1987 in Stockholm. In October 1991 he was a visiting Professor of Law at Stanford University in the United States.He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Natal, the University of Port Elizabeth, the University of Cape Town, the University of the North, the University of Lesotho, the University of Venda and the University of Massachusetts (USA). He is currently the Chancellor of the University of Mpumalanga.He was the first Deputy Chairman of the Commonwealth Business Council. He was Vice Chairman of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS.Mr Ramaphosa was appointed, along with former Finnish President Maarti Ahtisaari, as a weapons inspector in Northern Ireland. He also sat on the International Commission of Intervention and State Sovereignty and the UN Secretary General’s Panel on International Support to NEPAD.He was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the National Planning Commission in 2010, a body created to draft a long-term national development plan for South Africa.In December 2012, he was elected ANC Deputy President at the ANC’s 53rd National Conference in Mangaung.He was appointed Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa on 25 May 2014.In December 2017, he was elected 13th ANC President at the 54th National Conference in Johannesburg.President Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as President of the Republic of South Africa on Thursday 15 February 2018 following the resignation of President Jacob Zuma.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and first lady  Dr. Tshepo Motsepe. Motsepe has worked in private practice and in hospitals including Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in SA and Parirenyatwa Hospital in Zimbabwe — each the largest in their countries. She also worked with the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, which is a leading African research institute focusing on sexual, reproductive health and HIV research. She has also served as chair of the Gauteng health department’s accreditation committee.

In the face of South Africa’s painful history and its continuing struggle with inequality, it is the rule of law that holds every individual to the same standard and, in so doing, recognises the inherent dignity within every individual. Whether one wields power or is of the most vulnerable, the rule of law guarantees equal treatment. Without it, the vision of a constitutional democracy is dead in the water. Appreciating that the NPA plays a critical role in upholding the rule of law, it is crucial that it is seen to be free from all external pressures which might threaten prosecutorial independence.South Africa’s president on  vowed to purge his party of “bad and deviant tendencies” as he prepares to appoint a new Cabinet following a victory in national elections.The 57% share of the vote was the worst-ever election showing for the African National Congress, which has ruled since the harsh apartheid system of racial discrimination ended 25 years ago. The party won 62% of the vote in 2014.Low voter turnout of 65% in the May 8 election also reflected the frustration of many South Africans after corruption scandals around the ANC that led former president Jacob Zuma to resign last year under party pressure. Turnout was 74% in 2014.Current President Cyril Ramaphosa in his first speech to supporters since the election win said he will not appoint leaders who work “to fill their own pockets.”He told thousands of supporters in downtown Johannesburg that “we are going to end corruption whether they like it or not.” The revelations by a government commission investigating graft, often aired live on television for fascinated South Africans, “must be things of the past,” the president said.Ramaphosa, however, is believed to be facing a revolt within the party by Zuma allies, one that could surface in the coming weeks as he decides on the makeup of his new government.Observers have said South Africa’s economy, the most developed in sub-Saharan Africa, would be further weakened if Ramaphosa is removed by his own party. He narrowly won the party leadership in late 2017, weeks before Zuma was pushed out.Ramaphosa on Sunday urged ANC leaders to not hang the party’s “dirty linen in public” and said the party must be renewed “so that we cleanse it of all the bad and deviant tendencies.”In South Africa, the president and parliament are not elected directly. The number of votes won by each party determines how many representatives are sent to the national 400-seat legislature. The president of the country is the leader of the party that gets the most votes.The ANC slipped to holding 230 parliament seats, while the main opposition Democratic Alliance now holds 84 and the populist Economic Freedom Fighters have 44. The EFF gained ground in just its second presidential and parliamentary election, winning 10.7% of the vote, up from 6.3% five years ago.An important focus of President Ramaphosa’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) was on the Commissions of Inquiry that have the potential to finally tackle high level corruption in the private and public sector. This includes the Commission into State Capture (the Zondo Commission) and other commissions considering allegations of wrongdoing at the PIC, SARS and the NPA.It is now time for South Africa to move from exposé to action. Open Secrets welcomes the announcement that a dedicated unit will be established in the NPA to prosecute cases of corruption that emerge from these commissions. It is essential that this unit operates without fear or favour and pursues actors in both the public and private sector that are implicated in ‘state capture’, corruption and other economic crimes.While President Ramaphosa spoke of the corrosive effect of corruption on the nation, we are cautious in our optimism that he can “cure the nation” of it as this will take years of effort. His proposed stabilisation of state institutions committed to tackling economic crime, while an important step, is just the start. It is essential that the corporate executives, top politicians, and officials linked to economic crime are arrested and prosecuted for their crimes.The President’s address and the establishment of a special directorate in the NPA echo the recommendations of the People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime made in late 2018. The notice of the final findings of The People’s Tribunal into Economic Crime have been served by Open Secrets to the Presidency, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, NPA, SAPS, and Parliament. Furthermore, letters were sent to the chief whip of each political party represented in the National Assembly, and to the Speaker of Parliament.A key finding of The People’s Tribunal into Economic Crime was that ‘State Capture’ is also a result of the systemic corruption that had occurred in previous administrations. The absence of investigation or prosecution of those private actors that supported the crime of apartheid through illicit trade, and the impunity for those implicated in wrongdoing during the Arms Deal, set a precedent that allowed for the ‘state capture’ during the Zuma administration.We must acknowledge the continuities that allow for economic crimes to be repeated by similar networks. The establishment of the investigating directorate within the NPA that will focus on dealing with corruption is a key first step in this process. We now urge the NPA to engage civil society in the process of developing the terms of reference that will guide this unit. The state also needs to engage with the evidence gathered by civil society and presented at the People’s Tribunal and elsewhere.The President’s address and the establishment of a special directorate in the NPA echo the recommendations of the People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime made in late 2018. The notice of the final findings of The People’s Tribunal into Economic Crime have been served by Open Secrets to the Presidency, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, NPA, SAPS, and Parliament. Furthermore, letters were sent to the chief whip of each political party represented in the National Assembly, and to the Speaker of Parliament.A key finding of The People’s Tribunal into Economic Crime was that ‘State Capture’ is also a result of the systemic corruption that had occurred in previous administrations. The absence of investigation or prosecution of those private actors that supported the crime of apartheid through illicit trade, and the impunity for those implicated in wrongdoing during the Arms Deal, set a precedent that allowed for the ‘state capture’ during the Zuma administration.We must acknowledge the continuities that allow for economic crimes to be repeated by similar networks. The establishment of the investigating directorate within the NPA that will focus on dealing with corruption is a key first step in this process. We now urge the NPA to engage civil society in the process of developing the terms of reference that will guide this unit. The state also needs to engage with the evidence gathered by civil society and presented at the People’s Tribunal and elsewhere.


New South African president Cyril Ramaphosa was afforded calm and plenty of cheers as he delivered his first state of the nation address. Did he seize the moment? We will finalise work on a permanent public sector-led hybrid model, which will allow a set of public and private sector service providers to offer beneficiaries maximum choice, access and convenience.President Ramaphosa said, “Growth, development and transformation depend on a strong and capable state. It is critical that the structure and size of the state are optimally suited to meet the needs of the people and ensure the most efficient allocation of public resources. We will, therefore, initiate a process to review the configuration, number and size of national government departments.The President highlighted as key issues the need for the support social welfare delivers, along with increased delivery of school infrastructure, NHI and a national minimum wage, transformation, land redistribution, land expropriation without compensation and repairing government finances.“This means that as we pursue higher levels of economic growth and investment, we need to take additional measures to reduce poverty and meet the needs of the unemployed. We will finalise work on a permanent public sector-led hybrid model, which will allow a set of public and private sector service providers to offer beneficiaries maximum choice, access and convenience.”Though security was tight on the parliamentary precinct, inside the National Assembly the atmosphere was relaxed and jovial while MPs and guests waited for the state of the nation address to start. Even the EFF’s songs seemed more celebratory than usual. Politicians laughed and snapped selfies together to mark the donning of finery.Before Cyril Ramaphosa entered the House, the biggest applause of the day was reserved for the arrival of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, who received a standing ovation from across the political board.Big-screen televisions beamed images to the National Assembly of Ramaphosa’s cavalcade making its way to Parliament – and the unusual sight of people lining the roads to wave to their new president.The president also promised to urgently attend to matters at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), saying that he wants the institution to act without fear or favour.The president also committed to appointing a commission of inquiry into tax administration and governance at the South African Revenue Service.Ramaphosa received a standing ovation after his maiden State of the Nation Address of Friday even from opposition parties.He's expected to face pressure today from MPs who want him to make changes to his Cabinet as a matter of urgency.The Public Servants Association says that President Ramaphosa's looming downsizing of government departments will channel more employees to the ground level where services are needed by the public.The trade union's Tahir Maepa emphasises the need for skilled professionals to occupy key positions in government.“People who will be able to really aspire confidence from ordinary in the country.”Political analyst, Somadoda Fikeni, says that Ramaphosa's address however contains too many fragmented initiatives.“There seem to be too many initiatives that need to be sequenced,that need to be prioritised and narrowed into fewer initiatives.Furthermore, Open Secrets is concerned by the latest revelations of political interference that impeded the prosecution of apartheid era human rights violations by the NPA.The President received correspondence from the former Commissioners of the TRC, supported by a range of stakeholders within civil society, requesting the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into the failure of the NPA to prosecute apartheid era cases as recommended by the TRC. According to the NPA the failure to pursue these legal actions was due to political interference by former President, Thabo Mbeki’s government.As Open Secrets has previously stated, impunity for apartheid crimes set a precedent for the Arms Deal, which in turn, paved the way for present-day State Capture. We must now tackle the basket of economic crimes that have been neglected by successive administrations and the leadership of public institutions such as the NPA.Open Secrets urges President Ramaphosa and the NPA as an independent institution to ensure that the work begun by the TRC be completed and that the public and the private sector be held accountable for their roles in corrupt activities. We will indeed watch this space and remain critical of any neglect in upholding the rule of law.

Create your website or online store with Mozello

Quickly, easily, without programming.

Report abuse Learn more