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South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa sworn in as president


PRETORIA, South Africa - South Africa’s sixth democratically elected president was officially sworn in on Saturday in a colourful ceremony attended by several African leaders in the capital Pretoria.

"I, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa, and will obey, observe, uphold, and maintain the Constitution and all law of the Republic,” the 66-year-old said in his oath of office.

Thousands of South Africans from all walks of life filled the Loftus Stadium in the capital to see the swearing-in of Ramaphosa, who was elected earlier this week.

“As South Africa, we are honoured and deeply humbled by the presence here of leaders from across the African continent,” Ramaphosa said in his inaugural speech praising the many African leaders who attended the ceremony, which coincides with Africa Day celebrations.

“We are profoundly grateful to you for choosing to celebrate Africa Day among us, giving further poignancy to South Africa’s transformation from a pariah state to a full and valued member of the family of African nations,” he said.

African leaders attending the ceremony included Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Somalia’s Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, and Tanzania’s John Magafuli.

Leaders of Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, a bloc of 11 countries, were among other attendees.

Ramaphosa also praised leaders and representatives of countries from other continents who attended the ceremony.

The former anti-apartheid activist and trade union leader pledged to create jobs and grow the economy for the prosperity of all South Africans.

“A new era has dawned in our country. A brighter day is rising upon South Africa and upon our beloved continent, Africa.” Ramaphosa concluded in his inaugural speech.