by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
PRETORIA –NEWLY inaugurated South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has pledged to unite his country, which is beset by divisions and inequality.
He was speaking in the capital Pretoria after taking oath of office as Head of State before Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on Saturday.
“Our Constitution — the basic law of our land — continues to guide our way even at the darkest hour,” he said at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
“As a nation, we therefore can no longer abide by the grave disparities of wealth and opportunity that have defined our past and which threaten to imperil our future. it is our shared will — and our shared responsibility — to build a society that knows neither privilege nor disadvantage,” Ramaphosa said.
He said the South African society should strive to embrace one another and share resources.
“South Africa is a society where every person, regardless of race or sex or circumstance, may experience the fundamental necessities of a decent, dignified life,” Ramaphosa said.
He also took the opportunity to thank fellow African leaders who attended his inauguration ceremony, pledging to work with all leaders at the African Union (AU) to stimulate the continent’s development.
Among notable leaders who attended Ramaphosa’s inauguration included neighbouring Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Namibian counterpart, Hage Geingob.
“We are profoundly grateful to you (African leaders) for choosing to celebrate Africa Day among us, giving further poignancy to South Africa’s transformation from a pariah state to a full and valued member of the family of African nations,” Ramaphosa said.
“We also recognise, with appreciation, those countries from other continents who have joined us today. We remain eternally grateful to all nations represented here for the sacrifices and tireless contributions by your people and governments to the liberation of our land.”
Ramaphosa is the fifth post-apartheid President of South Africa.
Former presidents Frederik Willem de Klerk (pre-independence), Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe attended the inauguration.
Ramaphosa’s predecessor, Jacob Zuma, was absent.
– CAJ News