Ramaphosa Sworn In For Second Full Term As South Africa’s President

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Ramaphosa Sworn In For Second Full Term As South Africa’s President

 

Ramaphosa sworn in for second full term as south africa’s president
South africa’s cyril ramaphosa (r) gestures takes the oath of office for his second term as south african president at the union buildings in pretoria on june 19, 2024. (photo by kim ludbrook / pool / afp)

 

Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to re-elect the 71-year-old last week, after a May 29 general election that produced no outright winner.

South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in for a second full term as president in Pretoria on Wednesday, after his weakened African National Congress (ANC) struck a government coalition deal.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo led Ramaphosa’s oath of office ceremony before lawmakers, foreign dignitaries, religious and traditional leaders and cheering supporters at the Union Buildings, the seat of government.

“In the presence of everyone assembled here, and in full realisation of the high calling I assume as President… I Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa,” Ramaphosa said

Numerous heads of state, including Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Angola’s Joao Lourenco, Congo Brazzaville’s Denis Sassou Nguesso and Eswatini’s absolute leader King Mswati III attended the inauguration.

Guests in suits, fancy dresses and coats to keep warm in the chilly winter weather started to arrive early in the morning amid a heavy police presence.

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VIPs, some singing anti-apartheid struggle songs, were allowed into a small amphitheatre within the imposing, sandstone government building.

Other attendees, some holding South African flags, sat on a lawn outside as dancers and musicians performed on a big stage.

After Ramaphosa took the oath, a band played the national anthem, followed by a 21-gun salute and a fly past by army helicopters towing large South African flags.

Third time lucky

It was the third time Ramaphosa took the oath.

The former trade unionist turned millionaire businessman first came to power in 2018, after his predecessor and rival Jacob Zuma was forced out before the end of his term under the cloud of corruption allegations.

Ramaphosa was then re-appointed for a full five-year term in 2019. In South Africa, voters elect the parliament which then votes for the president.

Ramaphosa promised a new dawn for South Africa, launched an anti-graft drive and started to reform a collapsing energy system.

But under his watch, the economy languished, blighted by power cuts, crime remained rife and unemployment increased to 32.9 percent.

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In May, he led the ANC into yet another vote, but the historied party of the late Nelson Mandela came out bruised.

vociferous opposition from the left, with Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters and former president Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) refusing to take part and denouncing the inclusion of right-wing parties and the white-led, free-market DA.

MK came third in the election but has contested the results.

Party spokesman Nhlamulo Ndhlela said in a statement that its lawmakers would snub the “farcical inauguration of Cyril Ramaphosa as the puppet DA-sponsored President”, also using a racial slur to describe the ANC leader.

Ramaphosa is expected to announce his cabinet within days of his inauguration, as talks with coalition members continue.

AFP

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