Will Cyril Ramaphosa run for President at the end of 2008? He is one of the most popular political figures in South Africa, admired both within the ANC and outside. He came to prominence as the general secretary of the mineworkers' union in the 1980s and then as secretary general of the ANC after its unbanning. He is widely credited with playing a major role in the negotiations that led to the democratic settlement in South Africa and in devising South Africa's constitution. But after he failed to secure mination as Deputy President, he left politics and became a successful businessman. This commanding biography tells the story of his life so far. Based on rich interviews with many of the subject's friends and contemporaries, it marries the historical context and the individual life in a way that brings Ramphosa fully alive. It is a book that offers fresh insights, astute judgements and, above all, a deep sensitivity and understanding of how complex a life is.
Anthony Butler is Associate Professor of Political Studies at the University of Cape Town