Cyril Ramaphosa Biography: Age, Education, Political Career, Offices, Family, Wife, Net Worth

Cyril Ramaphosa Biography

Cyril Ramaphosa Biography

Cyril Ramaphosa is fifth and current president of South Africa and the leader of the African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party. He is also a former anti-apartheid activist, trade union leader, and businessman.

He played a key role in the negotiations that ended apartheid and the drafting of the country’s constitution. He became president in 2018 after Jacob Zuma resigned amid corruption allegations.

Ramaphosa was born in 1952 in Johannesburg and studied law at the University of the North and the University of South Africa. He was arrested several times for his involvement in student and black political movements.

Cyril Ramaphosa Biography Age

Cyril Ramaphosa is 71 years old as of 2024.

Cyril Ramaphosa Early Life and Education

Cyril Ramaphosa was born on 17 November 1952 in Johannesburg, to Venda parents, Erdmuth and Samuel Ramaphosa. His father was a retired policeman and his mother was a homemaker. He has two siblings, a brother named Douglas and a sister whose name is unknown.


Ramaphosa grew up in the impoverished township of Soweto, where he attended Tshilidzi Primary School and Sekano Ntoane High School. He was a bright and curious student who enjoyed reading and debating. He was also exposed to the harsh realities of apartheid, the system of racial segregation and oppression that dominated South Africa at the time.

Ramaphosa developed a political consciousness and a sense of social responsibility from an early age. He joined the South African Students Organization (SASO) and the Black People’s Convention (BPC), two organizations that advocated for black liberation and empowerment. He also participated in various protests and rallies against the apartheid regime. He was arrested several times for his involvement in student and black political movements.

He spent 11 months in solitary confinement in 1974 under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act for organizing pro-Frelimo rallies. Frelimo was a liberation movement that fought against Portuguese colonialism in Mozambique. He was detained again for six months in 1976 under the same act after the Soweto uprising, a mass revolt by black students against the imposition of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in schools.

Ramaphosa did not let his political activism interfere with his academic pursuits. He enrolled at the University of the North (Turfloop) in 1972 to study law. He continued his legal studies through correspondence from the University of South Africa (UNISA) after his arrests. He obtained his B. Proc. Degree in 1981. He also worked as a law clerk for a Johannesburg firm of attorneys while studying. He was admitted as an attorney of the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1982.

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Cyril Ramaphosa Political Career and Achievements

Cyril Ramaphosa Biography

Cyril Ramaphosa currently serves as the fifth president of South Africa and holds the position of leader within the African National Congress (ANC), the country’s ruling political party. He is also a former anti-apartheid activist, trade union leader, and businessman. He has had a remarkable and diverse career that spans over four decades and reflects his commitment to serving his country and his people.

Ramaphosa’s career began in the 1980s, when he became the first secretary general of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the largest and most influential trade union in South Africa. He led several strikes and campaigns for better wages and working conditions for the miners, who were exploited and oppressed by the mining companies and the apartheid government. He also helped to establish the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), a federation of trade unions that aligned itself with the ANC and the United Democratic Front (UDF), a coalition of anti-apartheid organizations.

Ramaphosa’s career took a political turn in the 1990s, when he was elected as the secretary general of the ANC, under the leadership of Nelson Mandela. He became the chief negotiator for the ANC during the negotiations that ended apartheid and the drafting of the country’s constitution.

Cyril Ramaphosa Biography


He was widely regarded as a skilful strategist and negotiator, who balanced the demands of the various parties and stakeholders, and ensured a peaceful and democratic transition to a new South Africa. He was also elected as the chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly, the body that adopted the final constitution in 1996. He played a key role in shaping the vision and values of the new South Africa, based on democracy, equality, human dignity, and social justice.

Ramaphosa’s career took an unexpected turn in 1997, when he lost the ANC leadership contest to Thabo Mbeki, who succeeded Mandela as the president of South Africa. Ramaphosa then resigned from politics and pursued a successful career in business, becoming one of the richest men in the country. He founded the Shanduka Group, a black-owned investment company that had interests in various sectors, such as mining, energy, telecommunications, and fast food.

He also became the executive chairperson of Shanduka, the chairperson of the board for MTN, a leading mobile network operator, the deputy chairperson of the board for Lonmin, a major platinum producer, and the owner of McDonald’s South Africa. He also founded the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, a charitable organization that supports education and development initiatives.

Cyril Ramaphosa Biography

Ramaphosa’s career took another political turn in 2012, when he returned to politics and was elected as the deputy president of the ANC and the country, under the presidency of Jacob Zuma. He was seen as a reformist and a potential successor to Zuma, who faced growing criticism and allegations of corruption and mismanagement. Ramaphosa was involved in several key issues and projects, such as the National Development Plan, the economic recovery plan, the COVID-19 response, and the fight against corruption. He also faced some controversies and challenges, such as the Marikana massacre, the state capture inquiry, and the factionalism within the ANC.


Ramaphosa’s career reached its peak in 2017, when he was elected as the president of the ANC, defeating Zuma’s preferred candidate, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. He then pressured Zuma to resign as the president of the country and took over the office in February 2018. He promised to restore the credibility and integrity of the government and the ANC, and to implement radical economic transformation and social justice. He also championed the African Continental Free Trade Area, a regional integration project that aims to create a single market for goods and services across the continent.

Cyril Ramaphosa Personal Life, Wives and Children

Cyril Ramaphosa has been married three times and has five children. His first wife was Hope Ramaphosa, whom he married in 1978 and divorced in 1989. They have a son named Andile. His second wife was Nomazizi Mtshotshisa, a businesswoman who died in 2008. They married in 1991 and divorced in 1993. They have a daughter named Tulisa.

His current wife is Tshepo Motsepe, a medical doctor and the sister of billionaire Patrice Motsepe. They married in 1996 and have three children: Tumelo, Mashudu, and Keneilwe.

Cyril Ramaphosa Net Worth

Cyril Ramaphosa’s net worth is estimated to be around $500 million as of 2024 His wealth stems from diverse investments in businesses across various sectors, including energy, steel, financial services, and real estate, as well as his involvement in cattle farming.

Cyril Ramaphosa Social Media Handles

Cyril Ramaphosa is active on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Here are some of his official social media handles:

  • Twitter: @CyrilRamaphosa
  • Facebook: Cyril Ramaphosa
  • Instagram: @cyrilramaphosa

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