New dawn in SA’s democracy

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pretoria – In a momentous occasion for South Africa, President-elect Jacob Zuma will later this morning take to the podium at the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre at the Union Buildings and promise to serve his country for another five years.

A number of events have lead up to this moment – the country voting in the free and fair general elections, the first sitting of Parliament and the election of a President-elect. Today will see the conclusion of the successful electoral process.

Months of planning have gone into the Presidential Inauguration, where the amphitheatre has been dressed, a podium has been constructed and numerous National Flags are flying proudly.

Hundreds of people have begun queuing at the park-and-rides at the Tshwane Events Centre and Pretoria Art Museum from the early hours of the morning to secure their spot on the Southern Lawns. A large stage and screen have been erected and the ceremony will be broadcast live.

The invited Heads of State and Government are expected to start arriving at the Union Buildings from 10:30am.

The amphitheatre will be the scene of the official ceremony presided over by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

The ceremony commences at 11am, with inter-faith prayers and a recital of the Preamble to the Constitution of South Africa. The swearing-in of the president by the Chief Justice will follow.

The President will take the Oath of Office before signing the swearing-in certificate. This will be followed by a congratulatory item by imbongi Zolani Mkiva.

After this, the President will take the National Salute and address the Nation from the stage in the amphitheatre.

Once he has concluded his speech, there will be a rendition of the National Anthem and a civilian fly past by South African Airways and the President will depart for the Southern Lawns.

Around 20 000 members of the public are expected to converge at the Southern Lawns, bussed in from various park-and-ride points in Tshwane.

A cultural programme will signal the start of celebrations, with the likes of the Mzansi Youth Choir, Bothlale Boikanyo, Zahara, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Matthew Mole and many more taking to the stage.

President-elect Zuma will host a luncheon for invited guests at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House.

The event will not only be broadcast live on SABC, but numerous public viewing areas have been set up across the country. –