Cyril Ramaphosa has been elected president of South Africa

15 February 2018 - 14:32 By TimesLIVE
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Cyril Ramaphosa
Cyril Ramaphosa
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

Cyril Ramaphosa is the new president of South Africa after he was elected unopposed in the National Assembly on Thursday afternoon.

Ramaphosa was nominated as a candidate by ANC backbencher Patrick Maesela, and the nomination was seconded by his colleague Joan Fubbs.

None of the opposition parties nominated a candidate.

The ANC leader was congratulated by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, who presided over the election.

The election comes a day after Jacob Zuma reluctantly resigned.

Zuma said in a 30-minute farewell address to the nation on Wednesday night that he disagreed with the way the ANC had thrust him towards an early exit after Ramaphosa replaced him as party president, but that he would accept the party's orders.

Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete said she had received Zuma’s resignation letter, while the ANC hailed Zuma’s decision to step down.

Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), said his party would not take part in the election of a new president as it would not legitimise an ANC candidate. The EFF walked out moments after Parliament had convened.

The Democratic Alliance requested an urgent debate on the dissolution of Parliament‚ which the EFF said it would support. This debate is due to be raised next Thursday.

Ramaphosa’s first state of the nation address will take place on Friday. The occasion is usually dripping with pomp and ceremony but it is unclear whether this will be the case for his debut speech.

Zuma bowed out on Wednesday hours after police raided the luxury home of the Gupta family, who have been at the centre of corruption allegations against Zuma and his circle for years. 

Thirteen suspects have been served with warrants of arrest in relation to state capture investigations‚ a spokesperson said on Thursday.

Eight suspects were arrested on Wednesday during operations in Bloemfontein and Johannesburg. Two suspects are still at large and three are believed to be outside South Africa.

The arrests are in connection with the Estina dairy project in Vrede in the Free State. About R220-million was allegedly stolen from the project. The project was meant to be a lifeline to indigent farmers but saw millions of rand allegedly siphoned off to the Guptas.

Parliament met on February 15 2018 to elect a new president after Jacob Zuma announced his resignation as head of state.

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