Below are key dates in the life of South Africa’s new president, Cyril Ramaphosa:
– November 17, 1952: Born in Soweto township west of Johannesburg to a policeman and a domestic worker.
– 1974: Ramaphosa, a law student, was arrested for anti-apartheid activism. Spent 11 months in solitary confinement.
– 1982: Founded the powerful National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
– 1990: Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years in prison. Ramaphosa became key part of task force that steers transition to democracy, helped craft new constitution.
– April 1994: As secretary general of the African National Congress (ANC), helped lead country towards first multi-racial elections. Afterwards was appointed president of Constitutional Assembly.
– 1999: Failed in bid to succeed Mandela as ANC leader, moved into business.
– 2012: As a director of mining group Lonmin, Ramaphosa called on security forces to intervene against striking miners. When 34 were later killed, his popularity was shaken.
– December 2012: Elected ANC vice president.
– May 2014: Became South Africa’s deputy president.
– December 2017: Elected ANC president.
– February 15, 2018: Became president of South Africa, replacing scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma.