'Ramphosa belongs to a different class now'
Cosatu says there is mixed reaction to the appointment of Cyril Ramaphosa as the ANC's deputy leader.
JOHANNESBURG - Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Wednesday said there was mixed reaction to the appointment of Cyril Ramaphosa as the ANC's deputy president.
Ramaphosa, who is a wealthy businessman with interests in the mining sector is also a former trade union leader.
He said Ramaphosa's name evoked both positive and negative emotions as a result of his past and future.
Vavi praised Ramaphosa's role in building the National Union of Mineworkers over a period of 30 years, but at the same time questioned the current attitude of the ANC's new number two towards the working class.
"He's now a multimillionaire reflected by the empire that was created in the few years that he has been in business.
"I know one thing; it is always the material conditions of men that influence their conscious."
Meanwhile Roelf Meyer of the National Party (NP) said he had built a relationship with Ramaphosa based on mutual trust.
The two worked closely together during the negotiations to bring about a peaceful end to apartheid and steer the country towards its first democratic elections in 1994.
Meyer said Ramaphosa was always a skilled negotiator.
"When he came into politics full-time as secretary general of the ANC in the early '90s, he brought that experience along. We had to negotiate against him and with him.
"But fortunately, we built between us a relationship that helped us overcome the difficulties we had."