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Ramaphosa makes TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential list

By News24 18 April 2019
Caption
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa inspects the guard of honour during a ceremonial reception at the president's house in New Delhi, India, during a state visit to the country in January 2019. (PHOTO: EPA-EFE/HARISH TYAGI)

President Cyril Ramaphosa will be aiming for nothing less than a win at next month’s election, but Time Magazine has already named him as a leader of the pack among other influencers.

The weekly United States news and current affairs magazine included Ramaphosa in its prestigious annual list of the “100 Most Influential People in The World”.

The list – first published in 1999 – includes individuals of renown, power, accomplishment and infamy. Or, as TIME puts it, people who have changed the world “for better or worse”. Subscribe to Fin24’s newsletter here

This makes Ramaphosa the first sitting South African president to be included in the list since former president Thabo Mbeki was included in 2005.

While former president Jacob Zuma was included in the 2008 installment of the list, owing to his meteoric rise to power after a litany of legal woes, he had not been elected president at the time.

Former president Nelson Mandela’s inclusion on the list in 2004 was under the section of “icons and heroes”, for his work in Aids activism, as oppose to “leaders”, where Ramaphosa and Mbeki have been named. READ: Markets get ready for Ramaphoria 2.0, but what will Cyril do with all that power?

Time Magazine correspondent Vivienne Walt penned the biography of Ramaphosa’s entry.

“Now finally, at 66, Ramaphosa, or Cyril, as he’s known to South Africans, has the chance to end corruption and grow the stalled economy. That could be his toughest battle yet. Blackouts, grinding poverty and massive unemployment have left millions desperate for quick results,” Walt wrote.

World champion track runner Caster Semenya was also included in this year’s list. Other leaders on the 2019 list are United States President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Other South Africans that have cracked previous installments of the annual list are SA-born billionaire Elon Musk in 2018, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in 2014 and comedian-turned The Daily Show host Trevor Noah in 2018.

It now remains to be seen whether the electorate has enough faith to put Ramaphosa at the top of their list or if the African National Congress has maxed out its time at the Union Buildings.

DM

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South Africa is in a very real battle. A political fight where terms such as truth and democracy can seem more of a suggestion as opposed to a necessity.

On one side of the battle are those openly willing to undermine the sovereignty of a democratic society, completely disregarding the weight and power of the oaths declared when they took office. If their mission was to decrease society’s trust in government - mission accomplished.

And on the other side are those who believe in the ethos of a country whose constitution was once declared the most progressive in the world. The hope that truth, justice and accountability in politics, business and society is not simply fairy tale dust sprinkled in great electoral speeches; but rather a cause that needs to be intentionally acted upon every day.

However, it would be an offensive oversight not to acknowledge that right there on the front lines, alongside whistleblowers and civil society, stand the journalists. Armed with only their determination to inform society and defend the truth, caught in the crossfire of shots fired from both sides.

If you believe in supporting the cause and the work of Daily Maverick then take your position on the battleground and sign up to Maverick Insider today.

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