Now, Ramaphosa, the former labor leader Nelson Mandela had hoped would succeed him as president, has an even trickier argument to make as the nation's new leader.
New President Cyril Ramaphosa (center) said he would concentrate on creating jobs and attracting investment.
But for those who are working late or don't have access to television coverage, Parliament's always-entertaining YouTube channel has already primed its livestream for viewing. "We have found that all members tend to get involved in operational matters up to procurement".
After he was sworn in as new president, Ramaphosa promised not to disappoint the people of South Africa and vowed that his administration would always put the country first.
In 2012, Ramaphosa, as a member of Lonmin's board, said a wildcat strike in the town of Marikana in which 10 people were killed was "dastardly criminal and must be characterized as such".
Ramaphosa said there needed to be a focus on job creation with an improvement in education already.
It was only previous year - when it was clear Ramaphosa would not secure Zuma's support to succeed him in the party and in the government - that Ramaphosa began publicly distancing himself from Zuma.
Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters party, said Thursday that lawmakers from the African National Congress had failed to hold former leader Jacob Zuma to account for alleged corruption and had therefore violated the constitution. "We want him to implement the removal of incompetent people, no one who is involved in corruption deserves to be in cabinet", said Malema.
"We could have gotten more bolder action today, but I heard more of the same stuff", said Mmusi Maimane, head of the Democratic Alliance. He now leads a government anxious to shed months of political limbo and public frustration, and the strengthening of the South African currency, the rand, against the dollar is an indicator of optimism over Ramaphosa's ascent.
The ANC leadership had on Tuesday advised Zuma to step down from office or risk being impeached by the parliament.
When Speaker Baleka Mbete called upon Ramaphosa to deliver his address, the whole National Assembly took to their feet once again.
Asked if he would remain in his post under Ramaphosa, Gigaba said he served at the pleasure of the president who had the prerogative to both "appoint and disappoint" ministers.
These increased when Ramaphosa added: "I spoke to President Zuma yesterday and we exchanged wonderful pleasantries and he wished us well".
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Cyril Ramaphosa on his election as the President of the Republic of South Africa. He was overwhelmingly elected deputy president of the ANC, serving directly under Zuma.
The ANC now must try to rebuild its reputation ahead of next year's elections.