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Cyril Ramaphosa elected as president of SA, opposition wishes him well

Ramaphosa was the only candidate who was nominated for presidency.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa being sworn in as an MP in Parliament on 22 May. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress leader Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as the president for the sixth democratic Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

Members of the national legislature were sworn in on Wednesday morning by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

Ramaphosa took over as president during the fifth Parliament last year, following the resignation of former president Jacob Zuma.

Ramaphosa was the only candidate who was nominated for presidency.

Ramaphosa was announced as president after Thandi Modise was elected as the Speaker of the National Assembly with 250 votes against the DA’s Richard Majola who got 83 votes.

Lechesa Tsenoli was re-elected as the National Assembly's Deputy Speaker.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane congratulated both speakers and Ramaphosa for their election and urged the leadership of the House to remember why they were there.

"Therefore, I want to urge the people of this House that we have been entrusted with the privilege which is to serve the people of this country... our objective here is to serve the people of the country and we better never fail them during such a moment as this one.

"I would also like to say to Ramaphosa that this election takes place when 10 million of our people are unemployed. It takes place at a time when our citizens are feeling unsafe, it takes place at a time when our young people need to be in school. You, sir, have been entrusted with a great privilege of leading our nation."

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema also congratulated Ramaphosa and said: "We hope that you will be a president of a corruption-free government and you will not subject yourself to views of factionalism."

He also urged Ramaphosa not to listen to praise singers and to use the newly elected young ANC MPs to help with what he called "fresh and new ideas".

"If they don't like positions, they will be able to be honest with you. You need someone to be honest with you because the position you occupy needs someone who is going to be honest with you."

All eyes will now be on Ramaphosa’s appointments for his new Cabinet.

‘WE DID NOT ELECT OPPENHEIMERS’

Malema warned Ramaphosa that the country had not elected a corrupt leader.

“Stellenbosch is a big problem. We know your proximity to Stellenbosch. We know your proximity to Oppenheimers. We have not elected Oppenheimers, we have not elected Stellenbosch here. I told your predecessor in 2011 that we have not elected the Guptas. We have elected him and he must lead us and he refused to listen to that.

"We are warning you president, we have not elected the Ruperts here, we have not elected the Oppenheimer. Listen to the collective wisdom of the people you’re elected with [and] not white monopoly capital,” he said.

He said "white monopoly capital" would not defend Ramaphosa and may result in him not finishing his term.

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