TIME

PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA ON FIXING SOUTH AFRICA

On April 15, TIME met with President Cyril Ramaphosa at his official residence, three weeks before the May 8 election. A longtime antiapartheid activist and high-ranking official of the ANC, the 66-year-old became Deputy President in 2014 and South Africa’s fifth President in February 2018 after Jacob Zuma resigned amid allegations of corruption and “state capture”—when private companies dictate government policy. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

TIME: You worked closely with Nelson Mandela when South Africa had its first democratic elections in 1994. Twenty-five years on, what are you doing as President to build on his vision?

Ramaphosa: Nelson Mandela laid the foundation for South Africa to be what it is today. Before he became President, months after his release from prison [in 1990], Nelson Mandela took his time to go through the country, just to see how our people were living. He came back and he said our

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