Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Cyril Ramaphosa elected leader of South Africa's ruling ANC party

South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) party has elected Cyril Ramaphosa as its new leader, meaning he is likely to become its next president.

Mr Ramaphosa, South Africa's deputy president, is likely to succeed current President Jacob Zuma when his second and final term in office comes to an end in 2019.

As the head of the ANC, the 65-year-old will be the party's candidate for the 2019 elections, which he is widely expected to win.

One of the nation's richest businessmen, Mr Ramaphosa has styled himself as a reformer who will steer South Africa away from the corruption scandals which have marred Mr Zuma's second term in office and hurt the economy, briefly sending it into recession earlier in 2017.

Though Mr Ramaphosa has been part of the Zuma administration, he has managed to steer clear of the corruption allegations that have dogged many of his colleagues and create enough distance from himself and Mr Zuma to not be perceived as part of the problem.

Mr Ramaphosa is a veteran of the struggle to end South Africa's former apartheid system of white minority rule and was a key negotiator who helped the country transition to democracy.

He turned his connections as a former union leader into business ventures that at times have proven controversial.

Many South Africans remember that Mr Ramaphosa was a board member of the Lonmin mining group at the time of the Marikana killings in 2012, when police shot dead 34 striking mine workers.

It is not clear if Mr Ramaphosa, as the ANC's new leader, will call on Mr Zuma to resign as the country's president, which the party has the authority to do.