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South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa: key dates

Published on 16/02/2018

Key dates in the life of South Africa's new president, Cyril Ramaphosa:

– November 17, 1952: Born in Soweto township west of Johannesburg to a policeman and a domestic worker.

– 1974: Ramaphosa, a law student, is arrested for anti-apartheid activism. Spends 11 months in solitary confinement.

– 1982: Founds the powerful National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

– 1990: Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela is released after 27 years in prison. Ramaphosa becomes key part of taskforce that steers transition to democracy, helps craft new constitution.

– April 1994: As secretary general of the African National Congress (ANC), helps lead country towards first multi-racial elections. Afterwards is appointed president of Constitutional Assembly.

– 1999: Fails in bid to succeed Mandela as ANC leader, moves into business.

– 2012: As a director of mining group Lonmin, Ramaphosa calls on security forces to intervene against striking miners. When 34 are later killed, his popularity is shaken.

– December 2012: Elected ANC vice president.

– May 2014: Becomes South Africa’s deputy president.

– December 2017: Elected ANC president.

– February 15, 2018: Becomes president of South Africa, replacing scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma.