The Path to Power in South Africa
A political biography of one of the great survivors of African politics, a major figure in the anti-apartheid struggle and close ally of Nelson Mandela.
For a long time, Cyril Ramaphosa was the nearly-man of South African politics. He was Nelson Mandela’s preferred successor, but the ANC opted for his rival, Thabo Mbeki, as the second post-apartheid president. Ramaphosa had led South Africa’s huge mineworkers’ union against the apartheid regime and was the key architect of the much-praised 1996 ‘rainbow’ constitution. He later prospered in business on the back of the first big empowerment deals with white-owned enterprises, before returning to politics and the ANC in 2012.
His eyes firmly on the prize, Ramaphosa played a long game as President Zuma became mired in scandal. In early 2018, Deputy President Ramaphosa persuaded the party to throw out Zuma and install him in his place. Announcing a ‘new dawn’, he has captivated the nation, but now faces his greatest challenge: fixing a broken economy, weeding out Zuma’s corrupt minions and the legacy of ‘state capture’ by the Gupta brothers, and delivering on the promise of a better life for the poor.
This captivating biography outlines Ramaphosa’s extraordinary political and business career. It tells the story of one of the greatest political comebacks of modern times.
Ray Hartley is the editor of the Rand Daily Mail. A former anti-apartheid activist, he also worked as an administrator in the constitutional negotiations that ended apartheid. He has covered the new South Africa as a political correspondent, travelling extensively with Mandela and Mbeki, and as the editor of South Africa’s largest newspaper, The Sunday Times, during the Zuma era.
‘A fine biography: Ray Hartley reveals the complexities of an enigmatic President with effortless prose and the sure touch of a veteran journalist.’ — Martin Plaut, former BBC World Service Africa Editor, and author of Understanding Eritrea
‘A good mystery deserves a good detective and Hartley delivers with a crisp and timely exploration of the enigmatic man promising to steer a struggling South Africa away from the cliff’s edge.’ — Andrew Harding, BBC Africa Correspondent and author of The Mayor of Mogadishu