After Zuma, South Africa elects new president Ramaphosa

World Today

After Zuma, South Africa elects new president Ramaphosa

For the first time in nine years, South Africans have a new President. Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as the nation’s fifth president, after Jacob Zuma was forced to resign.

CGTN’s Rene Del Carme reports from Cape Town.

There was much jubilation inside South Africa’s National Assembly, ahead of Cyril Ramaphosa’s election, but not everyone was celebrating.

Opposition Party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), tried to disrupt the election of the new president, by calling for Parliament to be dissolved. They claim Ramaphosa and the entire Parliament had failed to hold former President Jacob Zuma accountable for his alleged corruption while he was in office.

“We just want to put it on record, speaker, that we cannot be part of an illegal process,” Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters said.

The EFF walked out before Ramaphosa was elected unopposed.

In his first presidential speech, Ramaphosa echoed the words of Nelson Mandela when he said he would lead South Africa as the ‘servant of the people.’

“I do believe that when one is elected in this type of position, you basically become a servant of the people of South Africa. And I’ll seek to execute that task with humility, with faithfulness, and with dignity as well. That is what I will seek to do,” Ramaphosa said.

He thanked the various political parties in parliament for supporting his election, which he described as a humbling experience, and promised to work towards uniting the various political parties.

Besides reconciling the nation, after Jacob Zuma’s divisive rule, much is also expected of the new president when it comes to turning around the country’s economy. President Ramaphosa is expected to create much-needed jobs to help fight poverty and inequality—issues which he will address when he delivers South Africa’s State of the Nation Address on Friday.