Ramaphosa set to become new South African president Thursday
JOHANNESBURG â" South Africaâs acting President Cyril Ramaphosa was poised to become the countryâs new leader in a parliament vote Thursday following the resignation of Jacob Zuma, whose scandals brought the ruling party to its weakest point since taking power at the end of apartheid.
With the African National Congress nominating Zumaâs former deputy Ramaphosa as the countryâs leader, the 400-member parliament dominated by the ANC is expected to select him to finish his predecessorâs term, which ends with elections in 2019. Ramaphosa will be South Africaâs fifth president since majority rule.
Zuma resigned in a nationally televised address late Wednesday after the ANC instructed him to step down or face a parliamentary motion of no confidence that he would almost certainly lose.
The office of parliament speaker Baleka Mbete said Thursday that she had received Zumaâ s resignation letter making his departure final after nine years in office, and that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng would be available to swear in the new president in parliament later in the day.
âThe newly elected president will then address the sitting thereafter,â the ANC said in a statement.
The new president also on Friday evening will deliver the state of the nation address that had been postponed during the ruling partyâs days of closed-door negotiations to persuade Zuma to resign.
The South African currency, the rand, strengthened against the dollar in early trading Thursday after Zumaâs resignation, which ended political turmoil that had stalled some government business.
Ramaphosa has promised to fight the corruption that turned some supporters against the ANC during the months of growing public anger over the scandals surrounding Zuma, who has denied wrongdoing.
The new president is challenged with reviving the reputation of Africaâ s most prominent liberation movement, which fought the former system of white minority rule known as apartheid and took power in 1994 in the first all-race elections.
On Thursday the foundation of Nelson Mandela, South Africaâs first black president, welcomed Zumaâs departure but said the state must act against ânetworks of criminalityâ that have hurt the countryâs democracy.
As the country marks the centenary of Mandelaâs 1918 birth, âthere is a need to reckon with the failures of the democratic era,â the foundation said. âWe believe that we are at a critical moment in our history, one which offers us the unique opportunity to reflect, to rebuild, and to transform.â
Follow Christopher Torchia on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/torchiachrisSource: Google News