More than 35,000 people, including foreign heads of state, attended President Cyril Ramaphosa’s oath-taking ceremony on Saturday at a rugby stadium in Pretoria. Ramaphosa’s African National Congress won legislative elections on May 8 , securing 230 seats in the 400-member parliament, but the 57.5% vote the party received was its lowest share of the ballot since the end of apartheid rule 25 years ago.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng swore Ramaphosa in. Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was also in attendance.
David Mabuza was there in his final moments as deputy president.
One noticeable absence was that of former president Jacob Zuma, who opted not to join one of his wives, Bongi Ngema-Zuma.
Taking their places at the podium were former presidents Kgalema Motlanthe and Thabo Mbeki.
Another former president, FW de Klerk, who publicly backed Ramaphosa to uplift the nation, received a few initial cheers but was then booed as he made his entrance.
Former Speaker Baleka Mbete, who was hosting, called the crowd to order.
Receiving massive cheers was King Mswati III, who recently met with Ramaphosa in eSwatini two months ago for bilateral talks.
Keeping it a proudly African affair, other regional heads of states included Namibian President Hage Geingob and Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Other guests included: DA leader Mmusi Maimane, EFF leader Julius Malema, former public protector Thuli Madonsela, singer PJ Powers, former ANC NEC member Tokyo Sexwale, Mandla Mandela and Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi.