Ramaphosa promises to do his best not to disappoint South Africans

15 February 2018 - 15:34
By Qaanitah Hunter
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: Phumza Sakona Ntongana President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“South Africa must come first in everything that we all do.”

These were the words of newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa in response to well wishes and advice by leaders of political parties after his election as head of state on Thursday.

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

Ramaphosa addressed the National Assembly for the first time as president‚ first thanking members for electing him.

“I truly feel humbled given this privilege to serve our people‚” he said.

He told the opposition he would want to work with all political parties and would begin a series of engagements with them.

“I will come to this House on a regular basis to exercise accountability‚” he said.

Ramaphosa said opposition leaders spoke about unity‚ patriotism and working together - things that resonated with what he wanted to do.

He reassured opposition leaders that he would put the country first.

“I will try very hard not to disappoint the people of South Africa‚” he said.

In response to DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s statement that he would see Ramaphosa at the ballot box‚ Ramaphosa said Maimane should leave elections aside for now.

“Let’s deal with the current moment rather than grandstanding‚” he said.