You can make it if you really try! – Peter Tosh
By Richard Mammah
Here are four lessons from the victory of South Africa’s Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa Monday at the crucial elective Conference of the ruling African National Congress, ANC:
You can disagree with your boss and yet serve your nation, alongside him.
For over a year, it was public knowledge there there were indeed huge disagreements between Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma. However, this did not prevent Ramaphosa from continuing to work with President Zuma. In an African context, this is indeed a veritable case study.
You can make mistakes, but take responsibility and go forward
The Marikana massacre was a huge public relations blot on the credentials of Ramaphosa but he has since gone on to manage it as best as he could. However, make no mistake about it: Marikana will return in the principal contest in 2019.
You need to persevere to the end if you will be guaranteed victory
At different moments as the campaigns continued, it looked like the Ramaphosa camp was going to be overwhelmed. This was particularly tough going when President Zuma spitefully sacked several cabinet that were inclined towards Ramaphosa, including the influential Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan. But because he held out, he has now won.
You must stand for something and be seen to be faithful to it no matter the costs
It has indeed been a very heavy emotional season for Ramaphosa. As a member of the Zuma team, he has been there when scandal after scandal broke out. From rape to Nkandla, State Capture to Guptagate, it has been one blistering accusation or the other that has been levelled against his principal. But in all of these, Ramaphosa was not personally contaminated as he made his own views and perspectives known at every point in time, even when they conflicted with those of his boss. Should he ultimately emerge president, this tendency will stand him well in helping to ensure that he runs a more responsible administration than the current one where he has served as Deputy President.
Pix: Iconic South African President, Nelson Mandela