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Friday, June 9, 2023

Ramaphosa Re-elected to Lead South Africa’s Ruling Party

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Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected leader of South Africa’s ruling party, African National Congress, on Monday, despite being badly damaged by a cash-heist scandal that had dogged him for months.

Ascendancy to the helm of the ANC in power for almost three decades is a stepping stone to a second term as head of state. But the 70-year-old is on much shakier ground than when he was first elected party leader in 2017, amid deep divisions within the ANC — the party shaped by Nelson Mandela to spearhead the struggle to end apartheid.
Ramaphosa promised a “new dawn” for South Africa when he became president in 2018, but his image has been dented by scandal and a lacklustre economy.
Earlier this month, he survived an opposition-led attempt to open impeachment proceedings against him over accusations he attempted to conceal a burglary at his farmhouse.

Details about the huge cash haul, stolen from under sofa cushions, have dealt a massive reputational blow to the man who took the reins of Africa’s most industrialised economy on a pledge to root out graft.

Unemployment also remains stratospherically high and prolonged power cuts are a deep source of anger.

Ramaphosa’s native tongue is Venda, one of South Africa’s 11 official languages — most of which he is now said to speak fluently.

Married three times, Ramaphosa has four children. His current wife Tshepo Motsepe, a doctor, is the sister of African football chief Patrice Motsepe.

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