Cyril Ramaphosa has experienced the poverty of Soweto, been jailed for fighting apartheid and trade union activism, enjoyed immense wealth and has now been elected leader of his country - all in just 66 years.
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Ramaphosa, together with the ANC, won the elections on May 8, starting his journey as a democratically-elected president.
But politics is not new to Ramaphosa; when Nelson Mandela walked out of jail in 1990, a more youthful Ramaphosa was standing beside him as the world watched.
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After losing out on becoming Mandela's deputy, he focused on business and gained immense wealth through stakes in McDonalds, Coca-Cola and in the mining and telecommunications sectors.
In 2012, his public image took a knock when police killed 34 striking workers at the Marikana platinum mine, operated by London-listed Lonmin, where he was then a non-executive director.
He returned to politics to become Jacob Zuma's vice-president in 2014. He still draws criticism for his docile presence in this role as he never spoke out against corruption and government mismanagement.
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Mmusi Maimane of the Democratic Alliance party said Ramaphosa's compliance made him "at best a silent deputy-president, and at worst a complicit one".
Ramaphosa narrowly beat Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take over the leadership of the ANC in 2017 and then claim the presidency when Zuma resigned last year.
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