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ANC and DA welcome Ramaphosa's election as new President

Feb 15, 2018
ANC and DA welcome Ramaphosa's election as new President

Former Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the African National Congress (ANC) President, was on Thursday elected unopposed at Parliament to assume the Presidency left vacant after the resignation of former President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday night.

"The ANC welcomes the election of the President of the ANC, Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, as the President of the Republic of South Africa today," said ANC Secretary General, Ace Magashule.

"The election of President Ramaphosa today once again affirms the maturing and enduring nature of our democracy. It further provides an opportunity for us all to recommit ourselves to the values that define us as South Africans - upholding the rule of law, advancing the interests of our country above all, promoting and protecting of universal justice, hard work and selfless service to the people - as articulated in the oath we expect our President to take."

He said that Ramaphosa has over many years proven himself equal to the task expected of him, demonstrating his ability to lead with integrity and face challenges that confront the country.

"As one of the architects of both our world acclaimed Constitution and the transformative National Development Plan (NDP), President Ramaphosa has been part of the men and women who have shaped and defined our aspirations, hopes and vision for our future.

"The African National Congress has full confidence in President Ramaphosa to build on the foundation laid and focus the country on accelerating our program of fundamental and radical socio-economic transformation," Magashule added. 

"This will include giving effect to the ANC resolutions to accelerate land redistribution through amongst other mechanisms, the expropriation of land without compensation, and the fulfilment of our decision to provide fee-free education to children of the working class and the poor. The eradication of poverty, inequality and injustice in our country must shape his legacy as president of South Africa.

"To give effect to this requires, amongst others, restoring the credibility of public institutions, state owned enterprises and law enforcement agencies. It will further demand strong, properly functioning and efficient government at national, provincial and local levels, working together will all social partners."

Magashule said that the African National Congress pledges its full support to President Ramaphosa, knowing as we do, that he has always held the ANC as the strategic centre of power and its policies and decisions being the lodestar to the work of government.

"We further trust and believe that President Ramaphosa enjoys the support of millions in South Africa who now look forward to this new phase in our country’s history." 

Ahead of the vote, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) announced that they would not vote in the elections as they see the ascendancy of Ramaphosa as the replacement of one corrupt ANC camp with another one.

The EFF has long blamed Ramaphosa for having a hand in the Marikana Massacre that happened in August 2012 while Ramaphosa was part of the board at Lonmin.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) had also said that instead of electing a new President, Parlaiment should be dissolved and an early election held.

The party has since released a statement congratulating Ramaphosa.

"On behalf of the Democratic Alliance I would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the new President of the Republic of South Africa, Honourable Cyril Ramaphosa," said DA leader, Mmusi Maimane.

"While the circumstances of his election were far from ideal for our country, Honourable Ramaphosa now has an opportunity to close the Zuma chapter and begin charting a new course.

"We wish him well in his new job. And I would like to assure him that he can count on our support and cooperation as long as he acts in the best interest of the people of South Africa."

He still said that one crucial fact needs to be remembered "that is that the ANC is our country’s biggest problem".

"All along, we didn’t have a Zuma problem. We didn’t even have a Gupta problem.

"Our problem is that the ANC put Zuma in power and the ANC kept Zuma in power, knowing full well what was going on. And our problem is that same ANC is still here in this House today," Maimane said.

"I see all the Members in the ANC benches are celebrating today, as if they had nothing to do with Jacob Zuma. The biggest Jacob Zuma supporters have changed their tune overnight."

He urged Ramaphosa to act corrupt members of the ANC.

"I know this is not the case. I only have to look around you to know what you’re up against.

"The corrupt system that allowed Jacob Zuma to survive motion after motion in this House while selling off our country has gone nowhere. It’s still here, in these benches," he said.

"He may be known for his lies and deceit over the years, but Jacob Zuma told one uncomfortable truth in his rambling TV interview yesterday. He said that no one in the ANC could tell him what he did wrong.

"Why is that? Everyone knows what he did wrong. Why could no one from the ANC come out and say this?

"I can think of only two reasons: Either the ANC genuinely believes Jacob Zuma did nothing wrong, and that it’s simply now someone else’s turn to eat. Or, the ANC can’t admit what Jacob Zuma did wrong, because doing so would implicate the party and all of you."


The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa confers the powers to appoint and remove the President of the Republic of South Africa on the National Assembly. 

The President is elected in terms of Section 86 of the Constitution. His or her term of office begins on assuming office and ends upon a vacancy occurring or when the person next elected President resumes office.

After Zuma resigned, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa automatically became acting president of the Republic in accordance with Section 90 of the Constitution.

Section 90 states that when there is a vacancy in the office of president, the first person in line to act as president is the deputy president.

SONA 2018

The newly sworn-in President will deliver the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Friday at 7pm.

Deputy Secretary to Parliament Baby Tyawa said the SONA plan had been activated and communication had been sent out to all invited guests and that arrangements related to all logistics were being rolled out.

“It is all systems go,” she said.

According to Parliament, the following events are to take place in the coming days:

  • Joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces at 7pm on Friday, 16 February, for the President to deliver the 2018 State of the Nation Address;
  • Joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces on Monday, 19 February, to debate the President’s State of the Nation Address;
  • Reply by the President to the debate on Tuesday, 20 February; and
  • Budget Speech at 2pm on 21 February.

Parliament says plans are already underway with finalising preparations, which were already at an advanced stage, to realise a successful SONA ceremony on Friday.

This includes contacting all guests to inform them of the new date and to finalise their accreditation process.

The Presiding Officers of Parliament once again extend appreciation to all South Africans for their patience, understanding and admirable sense of patriotism during this critical period in the country.