Cyril Ramaphosa is the new president of South Africa after the former incumbent Jacob Zuma was toppled by allegations of corruption.
Zuma resigned after a week of sustained pressure from the leaders of the ruling African National Congress party.
They finally pushed him out of office after years of bickering about Zuma’s links with the Gupta family and the ease with which they gathered lucrative government contracts.
Zuma and the Gupta brothers have denied bribery and corruption claims, but an investigation into their dealings for the nine years Zuma was in power continues.
Zuma faces 783 counts of corruption relating to an arms deal nearly 20 years ago.
Power with promises
Ramaphosa was hurriedly sworn in before campaigning for the 2019 elections kick off.
He arrives in power on promises to wipe out government corruption and to act to stimulate the economy.
During the Zuma years, South Africa’s economy has lumbered into stagnation.
A decade ago, the nation was one of the celebrated developing BRICS economies with Brazil, Russia, India and China.
However, South Africa lost its shine with Brazil and Russia due to mounting accusations of government corruption and tightening state control in each country.
Ramaphosa has an impressive background in politics. He was the ANC’s chief negotiator to end apartheid and chairman of the assembly that developed the constitution.
Ramaphosa’s fame and fortune
As Nelson Mandela’s right-hand man, Ramaphosa has stood at the heart of South African politics for more than 40 years – with a break that saw him enter the business world, where he made a £325 million fortune.
He has also acted as Zuma’s deputy president and chairman of the ANC.
“This is not yet freedom. We have never said it is freedom. We are going to seek to improve the lives of our people on an ongoing basis and since 1994 we have done precisely that,” Ramaphosa said.
Zuma’s resignation ended a political crisis that threatened to inflict significant damage on the ANC, which has ruled South Africa since the country’s first free elections in 1994.
He denies all the allegations against him and was due to end his time in office in 2019.