Ramaphosa and Semenya Named in Times 100 Most Influential List

The ruling ANC party has congratulated South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and record-breaking athlete Caster Semenya for being named amongst TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2019.

The ANC said: “We are a proud nation.”

The annual prestigious list, published by the international magazine, includes TIME’s “most influential pioneers, leaders, titans, artists and icons of 2019”.

Ramaphosa was named in the Leaders category alongside America’s President Donald Trump and Swedish schoolgirl and climate activist Greta Thunberg. Semenya was named in the Icons category, alongside America’s former First Lady Michelle Obama and singer Lady Gaga.

Of Ramaphosa (66), TIME said he has “perfected the art of patience”, helped navigate South Africa out of apartheid, harnessed his “cunning and gregariousness” to make a fortune in business, and is now in the position to “end corruption and grow the stalled economy”. However, the magazine concedes this could be his toughest challenge yet with “blackouts, grinding poverty and massive unemployment” having left millions desperate for quick results.

Time also warns that Ramaphosa could face a coup with “vicious infighting” in the ANC, but that he’s maintained his ability to “chuckle” and focus on the bigger picture.

Of Semenya, TIME says the world and Olympic athlete has “taught us that sex isn’t always binary, and caused us to question the justness of distributing societal benefits according to “male” and “female” classifications.”

Other inclusions from Africa include Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Egypt’s football star Mohamed Salah.