Cyril Ramaphosa was on Thursday elected unopposed by the South African parliament as the country’s new president, following the resignation of Jacob Zuma from that position on Wednesday night.
He sat quietly while lawmakers from the deeply divided ruling African National Congress, ANC, stood, clapped and sang “rise up, Ramaphosa” as the result was announced. Chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng told assembled lawmakers at a special sitting of the parliament in Cape Town.
The parliamentary speaker, Baleka Mbete said, “South Africa has just emerged from a historic and challenging time, our democracy has matured and remains resilient.”
The new president used his first speech in office to vow to fight government corruption, in a direct reference to accusations levelled against his predecessor Jacob Zuma.
“Issues to do with corruption, issues of how we can straighten out our state-owned enterprises and how we deal with ‘state capture’ are issues that are on our radar screen,” Ramaphosa told lawmakers in parliament.