Cyril Ramaphosa REVISED

This commanding biography by Anthony Butler tells the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's life for the first time.

Cyril Ramaphosa is one of South Africa’s most celebrated political leaders.

He first came to prominence in the 1980s as general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers and as a major force in the domestic struggle for political freedom. When Nelson Mandela was released from prison in February 1990, Ramaphosa was at the head of the reception committee that greeted him. As secretary-general of the ANC after its unbanning, he re-established the liberation movement as a mass political party. He is widely credited with playing a major role in the negotiations that led to the democratic settlement in South Africa, and in devising the country’s new and internationally renowned constitution. Soon after this triumph, Ramaphosa left politics and became a successful businessman.

This commanding biography by Anthony Butler tells the story of Cyril Ramaphosa’s life for the first time. It is based on rich interviews with many of the subject’s friends and contemporaries, and it situates Ramaphosa’s achievements and his shortcomings in the context of the often tumultuous historical events that surrounded him.

The book begins with Ramaphosa’s childhood close to Sophiatown in the turbulent Johannesburg of the 1950s, the influence of his schooling in Soweto, and the enduring imprint of his religious upbringing on his political beliefs. It charts his career as a student political activist, his two devastating periods of detention without trial in solitary confinement, the extraordinary rise of his mineworkers’ union, and the role he played in the transition to a democratic South Africa. The book offers a frank appraisal of the achievements and limitations of one of South Africa’s most enigmatic political figures.

About the Author
Anthony Butler
was educated at St Anne’s College, Oxford, and King’s College, Cambridge. He is a former fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and a past director of the Policy and Administration programme at Birkbeck College, University of London. He teaches public policy in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Cape Town and writes a weekly column for Business Day.

“Cyril Ramaphosa has been one of the most significant figures in South African political life over the past three decades, yet his character and political beliefs have remained largely unknown. Anthony Butler’s long-awaited biography promises for the first time to shed light on the life and thought of this most enigmatic and popular national leader.” – Professor Kader Asmal, MP

“Ramaphosa has now found the biographer his career deserves. Anthony Butler’s study is sympathetic but not adulatory; it is shrewd, thoughtful and balanced. His analyses are illustrated and supported by extensive, rich and forthright interview material. Ramaphosa himself, his family members, confidants, friends and foes have provided Butler with some splendid asides and telling vignettes. He in turn has woven these into a compelling account of a ‘visionary pragmatist’ – and of course this study appears at a moment when there is a wide desire to learn more about Cyril Ramaphosa.” – Colin Bundy, Warden of Green College, Oxford

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Parameters of Book: Book
Author: Anthony Butler
ISBN: 9781431401840
E-book ISBN: 9781431402946
Size (mm): 235 x 155mm
Pages: 472pp
format: Paperback
Colour: Black & White
Rights: South Africa
Language: English
Publication Date: 2011-07-18