PARLIAMENT, February 15 – South African President elect Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday told Parliament he felt humbled by being chosen to lead the country and would seek to work with all political parties.
He said he planned to meet with the opposition, “so that we can try and find a way to work together and I am heartened by some of the sentiments expressed here of working together.”
Ramaphosa said he believed he faced a difficult task, and was humbled to have been entrusted with it.
“I will do all of this as the servant of our people. I will seek to execute that task with humility, with faithfulness and with dignity too.”
Ramaphosa lightly rebuked Maimane for warning, in congratulating him on his election, that the ANC faced uphill in the 2019 national elections .
“Leave 2019 aside let us deal with the current moment and work together on how we are going to improve the lives of our people rather than grandstanding.”
He said the opposition’s call for government to tackle corruption and state capture was “on our radar screen”.
Newly elected South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday committed to become accountable to Parliament and to become a “servant of the people”.
In his first address as head of State shortly after his election in the National Assembly, Ramaphosa said he will regularly account to Parliament and plans to meet with opposition parties soon to discuss how they could work together.
“I will do all this as a servant of our people,” said Ramaphosa, adding he will exercise his duties as president “with humility, faithfulness and dignity”.
Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as South Africa’s new president by the National Assembly on Thursday, a day after the deeply unpopular Jacob Zuma was forced to resign by the ruling party.
Ramaphosa, 65, was the sole candidate put forward by the National Assembly and takes up the top post two decades after he was considered by Nelson Mandela as his successor, only to be pushed aside by the party in favour of Thabo Mbeki.
His nomination was seconded by veteran ANC MP Joan Fubbs, who said: “He is a selfless, disciplined leader and he knows he is here to serve the people of South Africa.”
Ramaphosa rose and accepted the nomination with a smile and a loud ”yes, I do”.
There was only one candidate and Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng then declared Ramaphosa president, prompting singing and dancing in the ANC benches.
Opposition MPs opted not to put forward a candidate, but instead to call for Parliament to be dissolved and the country hold fresh elections. The Economic Freedom Fighters argued that Ramaphosa was tainted by his role in arguing for police action ahead of the shooting of 34 striking miners at Marikana in 2012.
The party left the chamber in protest ahead of his nomination.
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