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After the resignation of Jacob Zuma as South African president on Wednesday night, his erstwhile deputy and leader of the ruling African National Congress, ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday mounted the saddle as the fifth president of South Africa.
But before he settles into steering the country out of its myriad of challenges, here are ten things you need to know about the new leader:
1. Ramaphosa was born on November 17, 1952 in Soweto, an impoverished township in Johannesburg, and obtained a law degree in 1981 through correspondence studies with the University of South Africa, UNISA.
2. His activities as an integral part of the anti-
apartheid movement saw him spending time
in jail on two occasions in the 1970s. He was
arrested in Lebowa, on the charge of
organising or planning to take part in a
meeting in Namakgale which had been banned by the local magistrate.
3. Ramophosa formed the influential National Union of Mineworkers, NUM, in the 1980s and led some of the country’s biggest strikes, which shook the foundations of the
4. His work as lead negotiator with the outgoing white government of F.W. de Klerk
helped end apartheid in 1994.
5. He also helped craft the rainbow nation’s
post-apartheid constitution, considered to be one of the most liberal in the world.