'Those who seek to inflame tensions will not succeed' — Cyril Ramaphosa

19 June 2024 - 13:53 By Lizeka Tandwa
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Chief justice Raymond Zondo officially inaugurates the president-elect Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
Chief justice Raymond Zondo officially inaugurates the president-elect Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi

In his inaugural speech at the Union Buildings for his second term of office, President Cyril Ramaphosa took aim at political parties who sought to divide and distract the nation during the elections. 

Shortly after he signed his oath of office on Wednesday, Ramaphosa took to the podium.

“We must reject every attempt to divide or distract us, to sow doubt or cynicism, or to turn us against one another. Those who seek to stand in our way, those who seek to inflame tensions, will not succeed — because South Africans are resolute,” he said.

“Those who seek to undermine our institutions will fail, because democracy lives in the hearts of our people and will never be dislodged. Nothing will distract us from serving the people and advancing their interests.”

Ramaphosa's message could be seen as taking aim at his predecessor Jacob Zuma's MK Party, which has called into question the electoral outcomes and is taking the Electoral Commission of South Africa to court.

The MK Party was integral in the ANC losing power in KwaZulu-Natal. The ANC only gained 17% of the votes in the province. It also failed to retain its outright majority nationally. Forced to work with opposition parties, the ANC has formed a government of national unity which the MK Party and the EFF have declined joining. So far, the DA, IFP, PA and the GOOD party have joined the pact with some other parties showing interest in joining. 

Ramaphosa vowed to work with his political opponents in government to find solutions to the challenges the country faces.

He said South Africans have been unequivocal in their message to politicians during the elections to put aside political bickering and endless blame games. 

“They have spoken of their desire to be safe in their homes, on the street, in their cities, in their villages and on their farms. The people have demanded an end to the theft of public funds and the capture of the state. Above all, the people of South Africa have stressed they are impatient with political bickering and the endless blame game among politicians and political parties.”

He added South Africans want politicians to put the citizens' needs and aspirations first.

“They want us to work together for the sake of our country. Today I stand before you as your humble servant to say we have heard you,” he said.

Advancing the government of national unity, Ramaphosa said political parties have been called upon to work in partnership towards a growing economy, better jobs, safer communities and a government that works for its people.

“From across the political spectrum, parties have answered that call. Understanding that no party can govern alone and make laws alone, these parties have agreed to work in partnership, to employ their talents for the good of the country and the progress of its people.

“Together, they have resolved to establish a government of national unity to pursue a common programme of fundamental and lasting change. The formation of a government of national unity is a moment of profound significance. It is the beginning of a new era.”

His inauguration was attended by 18 heads of state and several dignitaries across the continent.

With his predecessors looking on shortly before delivering his speech, Ramaphosa read his oath of office administered by chief justice Raymond Zondo.

“In the presence of everyone assembled here and in full realisation of the high calling I assume as president of the Republic of South Africa, I, Matemela Cyril Ramaphosa, swear I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa and will obey, observe, uphold and maintain the constitution and all other law of the republic.

“And I solemnly and sincerely promise I will always promote all that will advance the republic and oppose that may harm it, protect and promote the rights of all South Africans, discharge my duties with all my strength and talents to the best of my knowledge and ability and true to the dictates of my conscience. Do justice to all and devote myself to the wellbeing of the republic and all its people. So help me God,” Ramaphosa pledged. 

After the signing of his pledge, Zondo held Ramaphosa's hand up high declaring him president of the country. 

“Ladies and gentlemen, the president-elect has been duly sworn in,” Zondo said.

Shortly after Ramaphosa signed his oath of office, he embraced first lady Tsepo Motsepe, giving her a light kiss to huge applause by the crowds. 


President elect Cyril Ramaphosa has been sworn in for a second term on Wednesday at the Union Buildings. With his predecessors looking on, Ramaphosa read his oath of office administered by the Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. #SouthAfrica #News #ramaphosa www.timeslive.co.za

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