South African Deputy President and president of the ruling African National Congress, Cyril Ramaphosa speaks during a rally in Cape Town. Photo: Rodger Bosch / AFP / Getty Images

Almost two months after he was elected leader of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, Cyril Ramaphosa is poised to become the country's next president as negotiations enter the second week over the fate of embattled President Jacob Zuma.

What’s happening now: Zuma is refusing calls to step down, and party leaders say a vote of no confidence will be held tomorrow. If he's ousted, as expected, parliament will elect the next president. Ramaphosa, 65, will almost certainly win due to the ANC's dominance in parliament.

A former trade union organizer and key Mandela ally, he has been South Africa's deputy president since 2014.

Ties to Mandela
  • Ramaphosa was a protégé of Nelson Mandela — the anti-apartheid revolutionary who later became the country's first black president in 1994.
  • He was reportedly Mandela's top choice to serve as deputy and heir apparent, but internal party politics led to Ramaphosa being passed over. He later rejected a cabinet post and left politics.
  • He was Mandela's lead negotiator in the talks that ended apartheid, and later chaired the constitutional assembly that drafted South Africa's post-apartheid constitution.
Nelson Mandela and Cyril Ramaphosa celebrating the presidential victory in 1994. Photo: David Turnley / Corbis / VCG via Getty Images
Labor leader to business mogul
  • Ramaphosa was General Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers in the 1980s and early 1990s, leading a massive strike in 1987.
  • After the end of apartheid, his political influence at a time when new laws were integrating blacks into the economy allowed him to acquire stakes in a variety of industries, per the NYT. His business empire grew over time, and included McDonalds' South African operation, mining investments and more.
  • He is one of the country's richest politicians, per the BBC, which reports that he has a net worth of about $450 million.
Controversies
  • In 2012, police slaughtered 34 striking miners at a platinum mine for which Ramaphosa served on the board of directors. "He was accused of betraying the workers he once fought for, especially after emails emerged showing he had called for action against the miners," per the BBC.
  • Ramaphosa has been accused of being out of touch (particularly after he bid $2 million for a prize cow at a livestock auction) and of enriching himself through a system he helped design.
  • He faced allegations last year of having extramarital affairs with at least eight women. He denied them and said they were part of a smear campaign to derail his ambitions to become party leader, according to local media reports. He later admitted to having an affair eight years ago, but denied other extramarital relations.
Return to politics
  • Zuma appointed him in 2014 as deputy president.
  • The ANC, which has governed South Africa since Mandela won the presidency, elected Ramaphosa as party leader last December. That came after Zuma narrowly survived a no-confidence vote, which also exposed the rift in the party over concerns that Zuma's scandal-plagued eight-year rule has tarnished the party.
  • Ramaphosa has received support from the Nelson Mandela Foundation, run by close colleagues of the deceased president, which said an early exit by Zuma would allow the ANC to "shore up" its prospects for next year’s election.

Go deeper: South Africa's Zuma under mounting pressure to resign

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Ex-officer pleads not guilty to charges related to Breonna Taylor killing

Brett Hankison is charged with three counts of wanton endangerment. Photo: Courtesy by the Shelby County Sherrif's Department

The former Louisville police officer charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in connection with the raid that led to the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, pleaded "not guilty" on Monday, the Courier Journal reports.

The big picture: The announcement of charges against Brett Hankison, who was fired from the department in June, set off nationwide protests last week. None of the officers involved in the raid were indicted on homicide or manslaughter charges related to Taylor's death.

SurveyMonkey poll: Trump's Ohio bet

Data: SurveyMonkey survey of 3,092 Ohio voters, Sept. 1-25, 2020; Note: COVID-19 was a write-in option; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Trump leads Joe Biden 51%-47% among likely Ohio voters overall — but he holds a whopping 74%-24% lead with those who say a flagging economy and job concerns are their top issue, according to new SurveyMonkey-Tableau data for Axios.

Why it matters: Ohioans are more worried about their jobs than the coronavirus — and that's President Trump's best chance to cling to a narrow lead in this state he won handily in 2016.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 33,224,222 — Total deaths: 999,298 — Total recoveries: 22,975,298Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 7,134,874 — Total deaths: 204,905 — Total recoveries: 2,766,280 — Total tests: 101,308,599Map.
  3. States: Cuomo extends New York moratorium on evictions until 2021.
  4. Business: Companies are still holding back earnings guidance.
  5. Health: Trump announces plan to distribute 150 million rapid tests —The childless vaccine.
  6. World: India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases.