South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has been circling the ring but yesterday, he threw his hat in it when he told PowerFM that he was available to stand. He added the rider that this depended on whether ANC branches asked him to do so, but to all intents and purposes, it is now Game On.
Five reasons Cyril Ramaphosa will be a fabulous president:
- He is a constitutional being.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was convener of the Constitutional Assembly, the platform from which the constitution was negotiated and launched.
This makes him a constitutionalist. President Jacob Zuma is not. The Constitutional Court said the president had failed to uphold his oath to protect and respect the founding law; the court also said the president should be a constitutional being.
President Zuma has spent years of his presidency dodging the law and in court. Cyril Ramaphosa will run an administration that cleaves more closely to the rule of law.
- He is rich.
This is a very important attribute in a president. History (and our present) is a story of leaders’ self aggrandisement and accumulation.
A rich president enters high office to build power, reputation and legacy and not build Nkandlas.
Ramaphosa is fabulously wealthy and has quarantined his interests to prevent conflicts of interest since becoming deputy president.
- He will get things done.
Ramaphosa speaks most passionately about his dream of a country that “gets things done”.
South Africa has been stuck in a stasis for seven years now with anaemic growth and stratospheric unemployment. He may get the excellent national development plan out of mothballs and into action as he was a deputy chairperson of the national planning commission which drew up the blueprint for a better country.
- He has one wife.
The beautiful doctor Tshepo Motsepe-Ramaphosa is the deputy president’s only wife. This is not a popular thing to say, but I preferred an ANC whose policy on gender in relationships was “one man (person); one wife”.
Of course, the constitution protects and encourages respect for traditional law, which encompasses polygamy, but I kind of like a Michelle-Barack Obama set-up at the Union Buildings and its extensions.