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The Financial Express

ANC leader Ramaphosa becomes new South Africa president

| Updated: February 17, 2018 15:16:01


ANC leader Ramaphosa becomes new South Africa president

Cyril Ramaphosa was confirmed Thursday as South Africa's new President, hours after scandal-plagued leader Jacob Zuma resigned.

Ramaphosa, 65, the leader of the ruling African National Congress party since December, was the only candidate nominated during a session of the South African Parliament, reports CNN.

Some lawmakers in the National Assembly in Cape Town greeted the announcement on Ramaphosa, though members of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party walked out of the chamber in protest during the debate.

"I truly feel humbled to have been given this great privilege of being able to serve our people," Ramaphosa said in an address to Parliament moments after he became President.

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

"I will try to work very hard not to disappoint the people of South Africa," Ramaphosa said.

Supporters of the new leader sang and danced outside the National Assembly following his speech.

Ramaphosa's elevation caps a dramatic week that saw Zuma, dogged by corruption allegations for years, effectively pushed out of office by his own party. Zuma denies all the corruption allegations against him.

Parliament had been due to hold a no-confidence vote Thursday to remove Zuma from office.

But in a nationally televised address Wednesday night, Zuma announced his resignation, saying he had been disturbed about what he described as "instances of violence" outside the party's headquarters.

"No life should be lost in my name and also the ANC should never be divided in my name. I have therefore come to the decision to resign as President of the republic with immediate effect," Zuma said.

"Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC."

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