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SA to welcome new President in sixth administration

Pres­i­dent-elect Cyril Ramaphosa will tomor­row be inau­gu­rat­ed as South Africa’s sixth demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly elect­ed Pres­i­dent and take charge of the high­est office in the land.

The Pres­i­dent-elect is expect­ed to take his oath of office on Sat­ur­day as part of the swear­ing-in cer­e­mo­ny that will be per­formed by Chief Jus­tice Mogo­eng Mogo­eng.

The Pres­i­dent-elect will then pro­ceed to sign the swear­ing-in cer­tifi­cate at the cer­e­mo­ny to be attend­ed by sev­er­al emi­nent per­sons and thou­sands of South Africans at Lof­tus Vers­feld Sta­di­um in the cap­i­tal.

In his jour­ney lead­ing up to the inau­gu­ra­tion, Ramaphosa was elect­ed unop­posed in the Nation­al Assem­bly after he was nom­i­nat­ed by the African Nation­al Con­gress (ANC).

He was elect­ed to fill the top post at the first sit­ting of a new­ly con­sti­tut­ed Par­lia­ment com­pris­ing the Nation­al Assem­bly and Nation­al Coun­cil of Provinces (NCOP).

Ramaphosa’s elec­tion in Par­lia­ment on Wednes­day put to bed a pil­grim­age that began with South Africans mak­ing their “X” in the country’s nation­al and provin­cial elec­tions that took place on 8 May, in which the ANC claimed vic­to­ry.

The Pres­i­den­tial Inau­gu­ra­tion rep­re­sents the begin­ning of a new chap­ter for South Africa.

About the Pres­i­dent-elect

Ramaphosa, 66, was born in Johan­nes­burg, where his fam­i­ly was moved from the West­ern Native Town­ship to Sowe­to in 1962.

Hav­ing moved to Limpopo, he com­plet­ed his school­ing at Mpha­phuli High School in Sibasa, Ven­da, after which he stud­ied law at the then Uni­ver­si­ty of the North in 1972.

He joined the South African Stu­dents’ Organ­i­sa­tion (SASO) and sub­se­quent­ly served as the chair­man of the body’s branch in 1974.

He was also no stranger to being detained under the then apartheid law.

He was detained for 11 months under Sec­tion 6 of the Ter­ror­ism Act for orga­niz­ing pro-Felimo ral­lies in 1974 and again fol­low­ing the 1976 Sowe­to stu­dent upris­ings.

While serv­ing as a law clerk in Johan­nes­burg, he con­tin­ued his stud­ies through the Uni­ver­si­ty of South Africa and obtained his B. Proc degree in 1981. He then became the legal advi­sor of the Coun­cil of Unions of South Africa (CUSA).

In the fol­low­ing year, Ramaphosa, togeth­er with James Mot­lat­si and Eli­jar Barayi, found­ed the Nation­al Union of Minework­ers (NUM) at the request of CUSA.

He sub­se­quent­ly became the NUM’s first Gen­er­al Sec­re­tary, a job he would also take on after the unban­ning of the ANC in 1991.

Ramaphosa also served as chair­per­son of the Nation­al Recep­tion Com­mit­tee, which coor­di­nat­ed arrange­ments for the release of the South Africa’s first demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly elect­ed Pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela.

After South Africa’s first demo­c­ra­t­ic elec­tions on 27 April 1994, Ramaphosa became a Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment (MP) and was elect­ed as chair of the Con­sti­tu­tion­al Assem­bly, where he was respon­si­ble for over­see­ing the draft­ing of South Africa’s inter­na­tion­al­ly acclaimed first demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­sti­tu­tion.

After the Con­sti­tu­tion draft­ing process, Ramaphosa left Par­lia­ment as well his posi­tion as ANC Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al to pur­sue busi­ness inter­ests, includ­ing the estab­lish­ment in 2001 of Shan­du­ka Group,s a black-owned invest­ment hold­ing com­pa­ny.

His role in draft­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion was recog­nised when in 2009 he was award­ed the Nation­al Order of the Baobab in Sil­ver.

He was appoint­ed Deputy Chair­per­son of the Nation­al Plan­ning Com­mis­sion in 2010, a body cre­at­ed to draft the long-term Nation­al Devel­op­ment Plan (NDP) for South Africa.

In Decem­ber 2012, he was elect­ed ANC Deputy Pres­i­dent at the ANC’s 53rd Nation­al Con­fer­ence in Man­gaung.

In 2014, he was appoint­ed as South Africa’s Deputy Pres­i­dent on 25 May. Tomor­row, on the same day of his appoint­ment five years ago, he will ascend to the high­est office in the coun­try after serv­ing as Pres­i­dent since 15 Feb­ru­ary 2018.

In Decem­ber 2017, Ramaphosa was elect­ed as the 13th ANC Pres­i­dent at its 54th Nation­al Con­fer­ence in Johan­nes­burg.

His inau­gu­ra­tion will coin­cide with Africa Day cel­e­bra­tions across the coun­try. —

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