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CYRIL Ramaphosa has been elected unopposed to be the President of South Africa taking over from Jacob Zuma who was forced to resign by the ANC.
Members of Parliament were jubilant on Thursday as they sang and danced before proceedings. Once the business got underway, Speaker Baleka Mbete called Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to officiate the process.
He was nominated unopposed and elected as the firth democratic president of the country.
“There are no further nominations, only one candidate has been nominated and it is in order. I declare the Honourable Ramaphosa duly elected as the President of South Africa,” he said.
It was not a smooth process, as has come to be expected in the National Assembly. Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota objected and said Ramaphosa had broken his oath of office and could not be allowed to take another one.
“I raise an objection against the nominated candidate who has already been found by the Constitutional Court to have violated his oath of office, multiple times. It is the intention of Cope to review his election with the Constitutional Court. When Zuma undermined the Public Protector, he never rose up,” said Lekota.
He charged that when the matter came before Parliament, Ramaphosa was one of those who challenged the Public Protector. He reminded the country that when there was a motion of no confidence in Zuma, Ramaphosa was the one who led the ANC caucus to defend him, claiming that he did not do anything wrong.
After the confirmation of Ramaphosa as president, Mbete congratulated him and said his election signalled a new start for both party and country. She said South Africa came from a turbulent period but believed things would be better under Ramaphosa.
She also gave him a kiss to seal it all off.
“South Africa has just emerged from a historic and challenging time. The challenges of this week and resignation of the former president brought to mind the resignation of Mbeki. I, however, truly believe our democracy has matured and remains resilient,” Mbete said.
Opposition parties congratulated and welcomed his election, except for the Economic Freedom Fighters. The party staged a walkout before the process started, saying they didn’t support it. They called for early elections to let South Africans give Parliament a new mandate.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane in his message said his party would raise concerns if Ramaphosa failed to deliver to the nation.
“If you act in the interest of the people of South Africa we will cooperate as best we can to assist in that mission‚” he said.
In his response to the well wishes, he appealed for MPs to refrain from raising on frivolous objections to allow for the business of Parliament to continue. He added that he would do his level best to serve the people of South Africa.
“I truly feel humbled to be given this privilege to serve our people. I will try very hard not to disappoint the people of South Africa‚” he said.
He was sworn in later on the day.