Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

19 June 2014

South Africa: Cyril Ramaphosa - the Man Who Would Be King

analysis

With Jacob Zuma out of action due to ill health, it has been Cyril Ramaphosa who has been filling his shoes at official functions - and looking as if those shoes were fitting him pretty nicely. Deputy Presidents are often relegated to the status of mere figureheads, as Kgalema Motlanthe discovered, but there are already indications that Ramaphosa will not be lying low.

It was the deputy president, not the president, who was the honoured guest at an annual post-SONA breakfast briefing in Cape Town. And it was Ramaphosa who was singled out by Julius Malema for special criticism at the post-SONA Parliamentary debate.

President Jacob Zuma is just fine, thank you. In fact, he is better than fine. He is "fully rested". While giving the State of the Nation Address on Tuesday night he was "in his element, focused, strong". That's what Cyril Ramaphosa had to say about the President's health at The New Age's breakfast briefing on Wednesday.

The problem with making these assertions about just how healthy the president is, is that it prompts an obvious question: in that case, why isn't he addressing The New Age's breakfast briefing, rather than Ramaphosa?

Ramaphosa didn't...

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