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Ramaphosa inaugurated as President of South Africa

Neelam Rahim |

3-minute read
20 June 2024 | 17:32 CAT

South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa takes the oath of office for his second term as president at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, on June 19, 2024 [Kim Ludbrook/AFP]

While heads of state, dignitaries, political party leaders and distinguished guests filled the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration, thousands of ordinary South Africans descended on the buildings’ South Lawns.

Amidst jubilation and cheers, Ramaphosa took the oath of office, marking the beginning of his second term at the nation’s helm, a significant moment in South African history.

In his speech, the president stated that neither discord nor dissent should cause the government to cast aside that which calls on the government to build a united, free, just, equal and prosperous nation. He warned that the government must choose – move together or lose what has been built.

Ramaphosa, in a resolute tone, underscored the paramount importance of unity and cooperation among the GNU parties. He pledged to build a government that is not only capable and honest but also fosters a sense of trust and collaboration among its members.

Ramaphosa described the formation of a GNU as a moment of profound significance and the beginning of a new era.

However, establishing the GNU has caused discord in some quarters, with some political parties rejecting it and calling it a coalition of a select few. uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) has contested the election results, leading to their boycott of the first sitting of parliament last week.

Ramaphosa’s speech echoed a strong call for unity, emphasizing that neither discord nor dissent would cause the country to be cast aside, but rather, it would be the foundation for building a united, just, equal and prosperous nation.

“We must reject every attempt to divide or distract us, to sow doubt or cynicism, or to turn us against one another. Those who seek to stand in our way, those who seek to inflame tensions, will not succeed because South Africans are resolute,” he said.

“And so, as we enter another era in the life of our nation, the resilience of our democracy has once more been tested and the people have spoken loudly that they choose peace and democracy over violent, undemocratic and unconstitutional methods.”

The president said the people of SA have voted and made known their wishes, concerns and expectations, which he said have been heard.

As the president of the Republic, Ramaphosa reiterated his commitment to inclusivity, stating that he will work with every political party and sector that is willing to contribute to finding solutions to the challenges our country faces as we transition to a new decade of freedom.

While his speech did not hint at what his cabinet was likely to look like, Ramaphosa clarified his government’s priorities. These include dealing with inequality and poverty, building an inclusive economy, delivering basic services to communities, pursuing a foreign policy based on human rights, solidarity and peace, and creating jobs.


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