28 January 2013

Mandela's Mogul ~ NYTimes on SA's Ramaphosa

Bill Keller asks in NYTimes Magazine Could Cyril Ramaphosa Be the Best Leader South Africa Has Not Yet Had?
"How do you know when something should be regarded as decided? Ramaphosa came up with the concept of “sufficient consensus.” It sounds absurdly vague, but it was a polite way of saying that when the white National Party and the A.N.C. came to terms, everyone else, as Ramaphosa explained later to a reporter, “can get stuffed.” When the deal was done, he was the obvious choice -- in fact, he was Mandela’s choice -- to be the first deputy, next in line for the presidency. But the party elders, especially the powerful faction that spent the struggle in exile, were wary of Ramaphosa. [So he went on to successful business career. But recently, he has been...] ...considering a return to politics. Sure enough, a week after our conversation, the governing African National Congress summoned him back to the national cause, voting him the party’s deputy president by a landslide. The election put Ramaphosa, now 60, back on the track Mandela had in mind for him 18 years ago. At last, we may find out whether he is, as many South Africans have long believed, the best president South Africa has not yet had."

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