Cyril Ramaphosa

President of South Africa since 2018

Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa (born 17 November 1952) is a South African politician serving as President of South Africa since 2018 and President of the African National Congress (ANC) since 2017. Previously an anti-apartheid activist, trade union leader and businessman, Ramaphosa served as Deputy President to President Jacob Zuma and Chairman of the National Planning Commission from 2014 to 2018.

We must [...] draft a constitution that will be fully legitimate, a constitution that will represent the aspirations of our people.

Quotes edit

  • It is therefore important that as we put our vision to the country, we should do so directly, knowing that people out there want to be part of the process and will be responding, because in the end the drafting of the constitution must not be the preserve of the 490 members of this Assembly. It must be a constitution which they feel they own, a constitution that they know and feel belongs to them. We must therefore draft a constitution that will be fully legitimate, a constitution that will represent the aspirations of our people.
    • On 24 January 1994, shortly after the National Assembly was convened, which was responsible for the drafting a new constitution, as quoted by Hassen Ebrahim, The Soul of a Nation: Constitution-making in South Africa, p. 239 (1998)
  • This conference, with overwhelming agreement, unanimous agreement, has resolved that the expropriation of land without compensation should be among the mechanisms available to government to give effect to land reform and redistribution. It has also been resolved that in implementing this decision, we must insure that we do not undermine the economy, the agricultural production, and food security in our country.
  • We now have a great opportunity to put land to good use, to take it out of those hands, lazy hands I might say, and put it into the working hands of our people.
  • The last decade has seen many of the gains of the early years of democracy reversed through state capture and corruption, a failure of collective leadership, policy uncertainty and a growing distance between the people and their movement and their government. We have had to come to terms with the erosion of the values of the ANC and confront difficult questions about the quality and integrity of our leadership as the ANC.
  • The manifesto had a paragraph on a wish and an aspiration, acknowledging that the Reserve Bank is independent and that there is no intention whatsoever to tamper or tinker with the independence of the central bank. The wish that is expressed is, that as it goes ahead with monetary policy machinations, it will keep an eye on employment.
  • The independence, the standing and the role of the Reserve Bank is sacrosanct. It will remain independent, as clearly stated in our constitution.
  • The US has been unable to imagine a better future that goes beyond four plus one G, where they have been unable to imagine what 5G has to offer. They are clearly jealous that a Chinese company called Huawei has outstripped them and because they have been outstripped, they must now punish that one company. We cannot afford to have our own economy being held back because there is this fight that the US is having.
  • In Zimbabwe, I was booed by the whole stadium. I had to apologise to the people of Zimbabwe for the attacks. I do not want to call it xenophobic attacks. South Africans do not hate people of other nations. … We had to offer an apology on behalf of the people of South Africa. We are loved in the continent. We are a sought after country. … I had to apologise because those attacks were a national shame, …
  • They were saying Shangaans must leave [Ekurhuleni]. The Vendas must leave. The next thing they will say the Batswanas must leave. The BaXhosa must leave. Who is going to remain? ... We must defeat the demon of tribalism.

Quotes about Ramaphosa edit

  • The ANC has been the ruling in South Africa since the dawn of democracy in 1994. By the time Ramaphosa rose to speak [in his inaugural State of the Nation address on 16 February 2018], South Africa had experienced nine years of destructive and devastating rule by Jacob Zuma. To give hope to the broken nation, Ramaphosa, in his New Dawn delivery, invoked the lyrics of a song by struggle and music icon Hugh Masekela called Thuma Mina, or Send Me, in a desperate but brilliant effort to galvanise all South Africans to action to reverse the negative effects of the excesses of the Zuma presidency. […] He had struck the right chord with the nation and Thuma Mina instantaneously forced its way into the social and political lexicon of the rainbow nation. […] Hugh Masekela was immortalised.

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