Cyril Ramaphosa elected President of South Africa

New President of SA, Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa has been elected President of South Africa hours after former president Jacob Zuma was forced to resign.

Ramaphosa has been the leader of the African National Congress (ANC) since December, and became interim president upon Zuma’s resignation.

Ramaphosa won an election that was basically a formality, as the ANC already has majority seats in the South African Parliament.

The election comes a day after Jacob Zuma reluctantly resigned.

Zuma said in a 30-minute farewell address to the nation on Wednesday night that he disagreed with the way the ANC had thrust him towards an early exit after Ramaphosa replaced him as party president, but that he would accept the party’s orders.

Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete said she had received Zuma’s resignation letter, while the ANC hailed Zuma’s decision to step down.

Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), said his party would not take part in the election of a new president as it would not legitimise an ANC candidate. The EFF walked out moments after Parliament had convened.

The Democratic Alliance requested an urgent debate on the dissolution of Parliament‚ which the EFF said it would support. This debate is due to be raised next Thursday.

Ramaphosa’s first state of the nation address is expected to take place on Friday. The occasion is usually dripping with pomp and ceremony but it is unclear whether this will be the case for his debut speech.

Zuma bowed out on Wednesday hours after police raided the luxury home of the Gupta family, who have been at the centre of corruption allegations against Zuma and his circle for years.


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