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Ramaphosa sworn-in vowing 'new era'

Sunday, May 26, 2019

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PRETORIA, South Africa (AFP) — Cyril Ramaphosa vowed a “new era” yesterday after he was sworn in as president of South Africa at a colourful ceremony in the capital, as he looks to revitalise his push to revive the economy and fight corruption.

Foreign heads of state from more than 40 countries were among 36,000 people who witnessed the event replete with pomp, military honours and an airforce flyover at a rugby stadium in Pretoria.

Ramaphosa, who became president last year through internal politics in his African National Congress (ANC) party and won a popular mandate in elections on May 8, faces an uphill battle to drive through reforms in a country suffering from chronic jobless rates, inequality, crime and endemic corruption.

“A new era has dawned in our country. A brighter day is rising upon South Africa,” said Ramaphosa, promising that the nation was beginning “a new era of hope and renewal”.

“This is a defining moment for a young nation like ours. It is a time for us to make the future that we yearn for,” added the 66-year-old.

The former trade unionist played a prominent part in the struggle to end white-minority rule at one point seen as a protege of Nelson Mandela before becoming a successful businessman and served as vice-president to former president Jacob Zuma.

Ramaphosa vowed to root out corruption as he took power last year when the ANC forced scandal-plagued Zuma to resign after nine years in office.

Yesterday he pledged “to build the South Africa that we all want and deserve.

“Let us forge a compact for an efficient, capable and ethical state, a state that is free from corruption.”


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