POOL / AFP / MIKE HUTCHINGS
Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to fight corruption in South Africa’s new president
Cyril Ramaphosa, a former anti-apartheid activist turned businessman, was named after Jacob Zuma. Tainted by scandal, Zuma resigned on Wednesday following an African National Congress (ANC) that has been dominated for a decade in power.
“Issues to do with corruption, issues of how we can straighten our state-owned enterprises and how we deal with ‘state capture’ are issues that we have on radar,” Ramaphosa told lawmakers in parliament. “State capture” refers to the alleged corruption of government institutions and state-owned businesses by Zuma’s associates. “Tomorrow we will also have an opportunity to outline some of the steps we are going to be taking,” he said.
AFP / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA
Crowds blood and danced in celebration of the appointment of Cyril Ramaphosa South Africa’s new president
ANC lawmakers celebrated with appointment, dancing and standing ovation. Ramaphosa, a hugely wealthy entrepreneur, will be delivered to Cape Town on Friday evening.
After multiple corruption scandals, economic slowdown and falling popularity among voters, the ANC has been attacked by a no-confidence vote in parliament. Hours before his resignation, Zuma said he had received “very unfair” treatment from the ANC, which he joined in 1959, spending decades in the party fighting white-minority rule. He said he was angry at the decision had been made. Zuma, 75, has been locked in a divisive power struggle with Ramaphosa, his deputy who won control of the ANC in December. – Soar Markets –
AFP / Jean Michel CORNU
Profile of Cyril Ramaphosa
The political turnaround saw benchmark South African stocks scoring their biggest gains since June 2016 following news that the pro-business reformist would be taking the helm. The FTSE / JSE Africa All Share Index rose as much as 2.7 percent, while the world rose 0.4 percent to 11.6667 per dollar.
“Ramaphosa’s arrival in the presidency will be more important in the future,” said the London-based Eurasia consultancy group. During the time of the apartheid era, Zuma, who had no formal education, spent 10 years in jail on Robben Island alongside Nelson Mandela before rising through the ANC ranks to take power in 2009. Local media said he had been pushing for a resignation deal that would include his legal fees to fight a series of criminal charges – Zuma denied it in his speech. One case against him relates to 783 payments he allegedly received linked to an arms deal before he came to power. Gupta brothers, who are accused of making lucrative government contracts and even hand-picking Zuma’s ministerial appointments.
AFP / File / GULSHAN KHAN
Not happy: Jacob Zuma said he was angry, he had been ousted, saying there was “no evidence” he’d done anything wrong
Ajay Gupta, Ajay Gupta. The political standoff had plunged South Africa – the continent’s most developed economy
– Tricky election looms – Zuma, a Zulu traditionalist with a strong voice, has been scheduled to be held up to a maximum of two months. In local polls in 2016, the ANC recorded its worst electoral result in 1994 under Mandela as a white-minority rule fell. Ramaphosa, 65, must now work to revive the economy and crack down on what he is known to be rampant government corruption if he is to repair the party’s tarnished reputation before a tricky general election next year. He is a former trade unionist and Mandela ally who became multi-millionaire businessman before returning to politics.