Jacob Zuma elected as SA's new President

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Parliament - Jacob Zuma has been elected President of South Africa, after receiving the highest number of votes by Members of Parliament in the National Assembly.

Chief Justice Pius Langa announced a short while ago that of the 327 votes cast, African National Congress (ANC) President Jacob Zuma had received 277 votes, while Congress of the People's (Cope) Mvume Dandala received 47 votes. A total of 3 ballot papers were spoilt.

Members of Parliament, who were sworn in earlier today, had voted in a secret ballot.

"In terms of Item 6 of part A, Schedule A of the Constitution, I declare the honourable Jacob Zuma duly elected President of the Republic of South Africa," announced Chief Justice Langa, who then congratulated the President-elect.

Parliamentarians broke into cheer after the announcement and chanted: "Zuma, Zuma, Zuma."

Various political parties were given the chance to address the House and congratulate Mr Zuma. Cope President Dandala gave Mr Zuma the party's best wishes.

"Mr Speaker, Mr President-elect, on behalf of Cope, I wish to congratulate you sir on your election as the President of South Africa. We accept that the people of South Africa have spoken and we will give our support to the highest office of this nation.

"We extend our good wishes to you in the coming years as you lead the country in tackling its many challenges."

Mr Zuma will be inaugurated as President of the Repbulic at the Union Buildings on Saturday.