Cyril Ramaphosa elected as South Africa's new president after Jacob Zuma quit

Cyril Ramaphosa elected as South Africa's new president after Jacob Zuma quit

It is now up to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was swiftly elected by parliament less than 24 hours after his predecessor resigned, to reverse South Africa's decline.

Zuma, 75, has been locked in a divisive power struggle with Ramaphosa, his deputy who won control of the ANC in December.

Members of a smaller opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, walked out of the chamber before Ramaphosa's election, saying it was illegitimate because South Africa's top court had ruled that lawmakers failed to hold Zuma to account in a scandal over state-funded upgrades to his private home.

(Under the South African constitution, parliament elects the president, and the ANC still has an overwhelming majority of MPs.) Ramaphosa will then proceed to appoint his cabinet.

He pledged to act as a "servant of our people" and said he meant to lead with "humility, faithfulness and dignity".

The EFF has called for the dissolution of parliament and fresh elections, citing no faith in the ANC government who they accuse of protecting Zuma.

As the Gupta-linked investigation proceeds, Zuma also could face corruption charges tied to an arms deal two decades ago.

Late in the afternoon, Mr Zuma gave an angry and rambling TV interview that sought to justify his refusal to obey his party's order to step down.

During a 30-minute address to the nation, Zuma said it was "unfair" the ANC had told him to resign. "I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC", he said.

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65-year-old Cyril Ramaphosa has been named the new South African President, following Wednesday's resignation of scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma. Zuma's second five-year term ends with elections in 2019, but the ANC wants to remove him so that it has more time to recover the confidence of disaffected voters.

Zuma was once a popular and respected anti-apartheid activist in South Africa, and was imprisoned alongside Nelson Mandela on Robben Island in 1963.

Ramaphosa left government afterward and made his fortune in the business world.

However, since returning to public life he has spoken out against corruption in the country and has found significant support in urban areas, in the business community and among ANC stalwarts.

Those protesting said the ANC's plan for electing a new leader was "illegitimate".

Noting the celebrations by the ruling party legislators after days of national anxiety over whether or when Zuma would resign, the robed chief justice said: "I'm trying to adapt to the environment". "We are going to make sure that we do not disappoint our people".

The African National Congress has full confidence in President Ramaphosa to build on the foundation laid and focus the country on accelerating our program of fundamental and radical socio-economic transformation.

"South Africa must come first in everything that we all do", he told MPs.

Malema said his party was not sympathetic to Zuma's appeals that he was being victimised, and warned South Africans not to fall for his "crocodile tears". Their compound was raided Wednesday in Johannesburg. Just as Ramaphosa was sworn in, a manhunt appeared to be underway for one of Zuma's sons, who was embroiled in a fraud case involving a large dairy farm.


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