My neighbour says when matters become complicated, overlapping various layers, that is when you need a man with a strong side. A man whose heart is at his right hand, not on the left. He says that when solutions many consider obvious have not brought the much sought after relief, those men with a strong side should step forward.
I told him to cut out the bombast and simply tell me he is very sad about the xenophobic attacks in South Africa. He admitted that he is very sad. But he is more disappointed because he has not seen the strongest side of President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.
“You look for the word, I will only explain it,” he began. “Here is a man whose capabilities were forged in his days as a trade unionist working in the mines. A veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle and a shrewd negotiator. How many remember his enviable contributions in getting black South Africans those huge concessions in the negotiations that culminated in Independence for the Rainbow nation?
All of this fascinating pedigree does not excite me compared with his demonstrated shrewdness in taking over the party, and pushing away from the presidency, a Jacob Zuma, many once thought was invincible. Who else but a Ramaphosa could do the unthinkable?
He knew that to add his presidential ambition into the mix in those early days of Independence would further complicate things. Things were already complicated with many expressing interests and rubbing Mandela in all the soft places to smoothen their way up to the coveted seat. He knew Mandela knew his worth but he knew too well that Mandela treasured his long standing relationship with Thabo Mbeki’s father. He also knew of Mandela’s soft spot for Zuma.
So he turned his attention and energy to the world of business, where he came real good, while bidding his time and waiting for the moment when he would launch for the big prize. That my friend, is the strongest side of Ramaphosa. I feel time is running out. The strongest side must show up, sooner than later.”