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Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa

(b. 1952)


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African National Congress

Nelson Mandela (b. 1918) South African statesman, President 1994–9

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(b. 17 Nov. 1952).

South African trade unionist Born in Johannesburg, the law student of the University of the North became active in the South African Students' Organization, the Student Christian Movement, and the Black People's Convention, before gradually moving on to support the ANC. He became legal adviser to the Council of Unions of South Africa, and in 1982 was appointed general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers. Having co-founded the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in 1985, he led a strike involving over 200,000 miners in 1987. One of the most influential and prominent supporters of the ANC within South Africa during the 1980s, he became its secretary-general in 1991. In 1994 he failed in his bid to become Mandela's first Vice-President against the former ANC spokesperson in exile, Mbeki. He left the government in 1996, to take up the directorship of various companies.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).


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