South Africa: Parliament Elects Cyril Ramaphosa As President

15 February 2018

The National Assembly elected Cyril Ramaphosa as the new president of the Republic of South Africa on Thursday.

Ramaphosa was elected unchallenged following days of uncertainty that culminated in former president Jacob Zuma announcing his resignation to the nation late on Wednesday evening.

Proceedings began just after 14:00, when National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete confirmed to the House that she had indeed received a resignation from Zuma on Thursday morning.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) wanted Mbete to read the letter into the record, but she refused to do so.

EFF leader Julius Malema then rose from the floor to say that before the business of electing a new president was conducted, Parliament should debate an urgent motion to dissolve the National Assembly.

Dissolving Parliament

Malema was adamant that Parliament has had a number of high profile rulings against it, and so the removal of Zuma as president necessitates the dissolution of Parliament.

Mbete however rejected their motion, saying they should have tabled their intention to debate the motion at the relevant programming committee either on Wednesday or Thursday.

"You were represented at those meetings, and you did not mention these issues then," Mbete said.

The EFF walked out as a result.

"We will not legitimise the circulation of ANC factions and elites," Malema said over the yells of ANC MPs motioning the EFF caucus out the chamber.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng then took over from Mbete to preside over the election process, and after reading out the rules, called for nominations.

ANC MP Dr Patrick Maesela nominated Ramaphosa for president from the floor, which was seconded by ANC MP Joan Fubbs.

When it came time to nominate any other candidates, Cope leader Mosioua Lekota stepped up to say they would be challenging Ramaphosa's nomination and subsequent election in the Constitutional Court.

"Ramaphosa has broken his oath of office not one but a number of times," Lekota said.

He did not specify when Ramaphosa had supposedly done this, but presumably it would have been as part of the collective Parliament when it was found wanting by the Constitutional Court in the Nkandla matter.

After no other candidates were nominated, Mogoeng declared Cyril Ramaphosa president-elect of the republic at 14:30.

He will be sworn in at 17:00 on Thursday, where he will receive the full powers of the office, and cease being a Member of Parliament.

Source: News24

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