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Cyril Ramaphosa in tour de force

Boots on the grass, planes in the air and a scroll from up high


In a show of strength in front of many of his continental peers, President Cyril Ramaphosa had a full battalion of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) parade at his inauguration yesterday.
For the first time since 1994, Ramaphosa reviewed the battalion as he assumed the position as commander-in-chief following his swearing-in as president.
Ramaphosa took his oath of office before Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng in front of thousands of supporters and guests at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.
The parade began with a skydiving free-fall by Lt-Col Louiwan Gordan of the SANDF, who parachuted into the stadium and handed a scroll of the preamble of the constitution to Ramaphosa.
The newly sworn-in president was invited to inspect the battalion in review. It is understood that Ramaphosa personally requested that a full battalion be present at his inauguration, an unprecedented occurrence.
Former democratically elected presidents - Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma - usually reviewed SA's military strength only on dedicated army days.
As the four arms of the defence force - the army, the navy, the air force and the medical services - marched past the newly elected president, the audience was jubilant.
At each firing of the 21-gun salute, the crowd cheered as if at a football match.
While many supporters displayed their support for the ANC, others waved South African flags.
Pockets of foreigners were also in the mix, waving their own countries' flags and chanting in support.
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa received applause as he arrived for the inauguration ceremony...

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