Cyril Ramaphosa has been sworn in as president of South Africa on Saturday at a colorful ceremony.
Ramaphosa took the oath of office and vowed “a new era”. Amid expectations, he will revive the country’s economy and fight corruption.
Foreign heads of state from more than forty countries were among the thirty six thousand people who witnessed the event. The event was replete with pomp, military honors and an air force flyover at a rugby stadium in Pretoria.
The 66-year-old leader was unanimously elected by parliament to a five-year term after his African National Congress won legislative elections on the 8th of May. The ANC won two hundred and thirty of the four hundred seats.
The new president is a trade unionist. He played a prominent part in the struggle to end white-minority rule before becoming a successful businessman.
In his inaugural address, Ramaphosa said thus:
“A new era has dawned in our country. A brighter day is rising upon South Africa,”
“This is a defining moment for a young nation like ours. It is a time for us to make the future that we yearn for.
“I pledge here today that I will serve you to build the South Africa that we all want and deserve.
“Let us declare that when we gather to celebrate the 50th year of our freedom there shall no longer be any person in this land who is unable to meet their basic needs”.
Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to name his new team within days.
However, his inauguration broke tradition as his swearing-in ceremony was moved from the amphitheatre of the Union Buildings; the seat of government where Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the country’s first black president in 1994.
Also, all other leaders after Mandela have taken their oaths at the Union Buildings, whose grounds can accommodate only up to four thousand and five hundred people.
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But this year the event was moved to the fifty-two thousand seater at Loftus Versfeld rugby stadium to allow more people to attend.