I will be president of all South Africans - Ramaphosa

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane reminded President-elect Cyril Ramaphosa of the high unemployment rate.

President of the sixth democratic Parliament Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: @GovernmentZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised to run the country as well as he possibly can.

Ramaphosa was speaking at the swearing-in of members of Parliament on Wednesday where he was elected unopposed as president of the sixth Parliament.

“I undertake to mind the aspirations and hopes and expectations of the people of South Africa. In this regard, I will seek to act and be the president of all South Africans and not just the president of those who voted for the party that I lead and those who voted for parties that are here.”

South Africans voted in a national election on 8 May and the governing party got just under 60% of the total votes. The party lost 19 seats in the National Assembly from the 249 it had from 2014.

Ramaphosa said he was proud that citizens had come out in numbers to participate in the national poll.

The presidential inauguration will be held on 25 May.

He was nominated for the presidency by African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Pemmy Majodina. The nomination was seconded by ANC MP Madala Ntombela.

Ramaphosa accepted the nomination. There were no other nominations for president.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane reminded Ramaphosa of the high unemployment rate.

The leader of the official opposition said the DA would support Ramaphosa and hoped for more collaboration.

“When the decisions that you take are for the interest of our nation and for the people of this country, we will be the first ones to support you,” Maimane said.

EFF leader Julius Malema told Ramaphosa he should run a corruption-free government and warned him to stay clear of "white monopoly capital".

“Once you listen to white monopoly capital, you must know that you’re likely not to finish your term. All the best president. We are here, we are watching you and we’ll continue to engage with you openly, not in secret,” said Malema.

The oldest MP, Inkatha Freedom Party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi (90), called on MPs to stand with the president and to hold him to account.

“Undoubtedly, we stand now at a crossroad again, desperate to move away from the shadows of corruption towards the light of growth, investment, unity and justice. It will take a unique leader to navigate this course,” Buthelezi said.

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald told Ramaphosa he must now endeavour to put the nation ahead of his party.

“You are now also the president of the people, all the people of South Africa... South African citizens and therefore you must ensure that the interest of the people of South Africa is more important than the interest of your political party, the African National Congress,” Groenewald said.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)