Posted by News Express | 24 May 2014 | 3,020 times
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has been sworn into office for a second term, following his party’s victory at the polls. The African National Congress (ANC) won a commanding victory in the general election on May 7.
More than 4,000 guests and several heads of state are at the ceremony in Pretoria. Several heads of state are in attendance, including Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
Zuma took the oath of office after prayers opened the ceremony at 11:00 local time (09:00 GMT).
The centrepiece of the event was due to be a 90-minute cultural show, with performances from local musicians, dancers and a youth choir.
Proceedings are being broadcast at 45 public viewing sites across the country as well as being shown live on television and radio.
Members of the public descended on the Union Building in Pretoria, the site of the ceremony, to watch on large TV screens.
President Zuma was officially elected for a second five-year term on Wednesday by the ANC-dominated parliament.
The expected formality of the re-election was disturbed only by MPs from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who turned up at parliament in red overalls and hardhats.
The EFF, led by former ANC member Julius Malema, said they dressed as maids and miners to show they intend to represent the interest of workers.
South African media say the inauguration ceremony is as much about celebrating Nelson Mandela, who died last year, and 20 years of democracy, as about officially sealing Mr Zuma’s re-election.
Zuma will get back to work immediately after the national celebrations and is expected to announce his cabinet tomorrow.
His choices will be watched closely by political analysts with the country’s economic problems continuing to mount and almost a quarter of all South Africans unemployed.
•Adapted from a BBC report. Photo shows President Zuma.
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