Crowds in frenzy on southern lawns

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pretoria - Crowds that have thronged the southern lawns of the Union Buildings erupted in celebration as newly inaugurated President Jacob Zuma took to the podium to address them.

The atmosphere was marked with the blowing of vuvuzelas, ululations, loud singing and general cheer and clapping as the crowd welcomed their new President.

And on the streets, South Africans are dancing and holding up posters of their new President. Motorists are blowing their hooters and there is a general feeling of celebration and national pride in the air.

Along with his first wife, Zizakele "MaKhumalo" Zuma, the President took to the podium and thanked the people for coming to "the inauguration of the new President."

"I hope you have read my speech and we are still going to come to the provinces to thank you and to celebrate this historic transition. You are the hope of democracy and I thank you for coming here in numbers to celebrate this important day," the new President said.

He said he loved the people of South Africa and had much respect for them.

Songs of freedom can be heard kilometers away from the Union Buildings.

Artists are now entertaining the jubilant crowds.

Earlier, they gave light performances as the crowds were treated to a meal in the cold weather.