23 May 2014

South Africa: Heads of State Arrive in SA for Presidential Inauguration

Heads of State from across the world have started arriving in South Africa to attend the second inauguration of President-elect Jacob Zuma at the Union Buildings tomorrow, Saturday.

The first African Head of State to touch down at the Waterkloof Airforce Base was Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila, who was followed by Congo-Brazzaville President Denis Sassou Nguesso.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace Mugabe and their son landed at the Waterkloof Airforce Base shortly before 7:30pm tonight.

Also in the country for the inauguration is King Mswati III of Swaziland who also landed at the Waterkloof Airforce Base with his 3DC-SWZ flight at 6:45pm.

The Heads of State were warmly welcomed by International Relations and Cooperative Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Nqakula, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba as well as by Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom.

Other Presidents who will grace tomorrow's occasion include that of Equatorial Guinea, Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, Lesotho, Mozambique and Nigeria. Fourteen Eminent Persons and 118 foreign ambassadors resident in South Africa will also be present with South African royalty being among the special guests. Tomorrow's fifth Presidential Inauguration, in which President-elect Zuma will take his oath of office for the next five years, is set to dazzle with all the world's eyes focused on the Union Buildings, for what is promised to be a memorable event.

To add to the celebrations, at least 20 000 people, who are expected to gather at the Southern Lawns of the Union Buildings will be wowed by performances by various leading artists, including the likes of Mafikizolo, Zahara, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Kurt Darren and Chomee and witness displays by the South African Air Force.

Four thousand five hundred people will be accommodated in the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre.

Tomorrow's ceremony comes as South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy. A few weeks ago, the country held successful general elections, in which the African National Congress (ANC) emerged as the victorious party.

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