Zuma's promise to the nation

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pretoria - Jacob Zuma has officially become South Africa’s President after taking the oath of office at the Union Buildings.

"I, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa, and will obey, observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution and all other law of the republic.

“And that I will always oppose all that will harm it, protect and promote the rights of all South Africans,” he said.

President Zuma vowed to "protect and promote the rights of all South Africans", as he took the oath administered by Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

He recited the oath in front of former President Thabo Mbeki, former Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, before signing the swearing-in certificate.

President Zuma was accompanied to the stage by his wife Sizakele Khumalo, with heads of state, former heads of state among the 4 500 invited guests witnessing the ceremony at the hilltop complex that is the seat of government. This is the same spot where the country’s first democratically elected president Nelson Mandela was sworn in.

Before taking the oath, President Zuma was greeted by a guard of honour by the National Ceremonial Guard.

After the oath, the colourful ceremony got a bit more excitement when traditional praise singer Zolani Mkiva chanted out Zuma’s virtues.

He then received the National Salute to the sound of the national anthem, a 21-gun salute, a flight by four helicopters of the South African Air Force (SAAF), a massed fly past by aircraft of the SAAF and a display by the Silver Falcons.

Zuma, 72, was elected President by Parliament, after the African National Congress won the general election earlier this month.

The inauguration takes place at a time when the country celebrates 20 Years of Freedom.

The newly inaugurated President now will deliver a speech to inform South Africans of his vision and intent during the upcoming term of office.

There is pressure for the new government to speed up economic and social transformation as well as push ahead with the implementation of the National Development Plan, which has been labelled a roadmap to promote inclusive economic growth and job creation. – SAnews.gov.za

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