Current, former Presidents to grace Inauguration

Friday, May 23, 2014

Pretoria – Government will roll out the red carpet tomorrow to more than 40 leaders who will join South Africans in witnessing the swearing-in of the country’s President for the next five years.

The more than 40 Heads of State and/or Government, Vice-Presidents/Deputy Heads of State, Prime Ministers, and Former Heads of State and/or Government will include Presidents from Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Somalia.

Zambia’s Former President Kenneth Kaunda, former Prime Minister and Chairperson of the OAU, Salim Ahmed Salim of Tanzania; and Botswana’s former President Festus Mogae will also grace the occasion.

The last time this many Heads of State and Government converged at the Union Buildings was when they descended on the country to view the body of former President Nelson Mandela lying in state, about five months ago.

The inauguration has also drawn the interest of 14 Eminent Persons. At least 118 foreign ambassadors resident in South Africa will also be present with South African royalty being among the special guests.  

The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and a representative of the Secretary-General of the UN will also be amongst the guests.

Fellow BRICS member states Brazil, Russia, India and China will also be represented.

Brazil will be represented by Vice President Michel Temer; India by outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh; China by Minister of Home Affairs LI Liguo; and Russia by Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly Sergey Naryshkin.

Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Presidential Inauguration Collins Chabane told media on Friday morning that Government was impressed by the interest shown by countries.

“We sincerely appreciate the interest shown by our international guests and extend a hearty welcome to all our guests on behalf of all South Africans,” he said.   

Fresh after the country's fifth democratic elections on May 7, South Africa will inaugurate its President at the Union Buildings which also coincides with the country’s 20 years of freedom and democracy.   

Guests are expected to arrive between 5 and 8am. The swearing-in ceremony will take place at 11am.

Once the formal proceedings are completed, a cultural event will take place on the Southern Lawns of the Union Buildings, where ordinary South Africans will be accommodated.

The who's who of South African music are in the line-up to wow the crowds on the Southern Lawns.

Some of the performers include Gospel veteran Rebecca Malope, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, DJ Oskido, Kurt Darren, Vulindlela and Phuzekhemisi. –

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