The Deputy President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, arrived in Sri Lanka today accompanied by a delegation of officials.
In a statement on Sunday, Ramaphosa said he would meet the Sri Lankan government, opposition parties and citizens during his visit to the country, which begins on Monday.
“What we are going to do there, we are going to listen to the Sri Lankans,” he said.
Ramaphosa is accompanied by South Africa’s Deputy International Relations Minister Nomaindia Mfeketo.
In December 2012, Cyril Ramaphosa was elected deputy president of Nelson Mandela's African National Congress Party, and in turn, of South Africa.
Ramaphosa first came to prominence in the 1980s as founder and promoter of the National Union of Mineworkers, created to improve the rights of black African workers. In 1991, he was elected secretary general of the African National Congress and was the main negotiator with the National Party during the transition to democracy. After less than three years in parliament Ramaphosa resigned in 1997.
Widely respected as a skilful and formidable negotiator and strategist Ramaphosa is also the Chairman of the National Planning Commission which is responsible for strategic planning for the country.
He played a crucial role, with Roelf Meyer of the National Party, during the negotiations to bring about a peaceful end to apartheid and steer the country towards its first democratic elections in April 1994.