South Africa’s seventh democratically elected President Cyril Ramaphosa was officially sworn in Wednesday for a second term in office after his reelection by parliament last Friday.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo administered the oath of office in a colorful ceremony attended by several heads of state and government in the capital Pretoria.

“I, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa,’’ the 71-year-old said in his oath of office.

Zondo congratulated Ramaphosa and introduced him to the audience after signing a certificate, saying the president-elect has now been duly sworn in. Members of the public watching proceedings from the union building’s lawns erupted into loud cheers after Ramaphosa was sworn in.

Interfaith prayers were held before the swearing-in ceremony with religious leaders praying for the incoming president and the government of national unity.

Members of the South African parliament reelected Cyril Ramaphosa last Friday as president for a second term during the first sitting of the legislature.

Ramaphosa, the leader of the African National Congress party (ANC), received 283 votes, defeating Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighter party who garnered 44 votes.

The ANC, once led by civil rights icon Nelson Mandela, dominated South African politics for the past three decades, until losing its majority in the May 29 national elections.

The ANC has 159 lawmakers in the 400-member National Assembly, making it difficult for it to form a government on its own. It proposed the formation of a government of national unity.

The ANC reached a deal to form a national unity government with the Democratic Alliance, the Patriotic Alliance, the Inkatha Freedom Party, and Good party among others.


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