Having taken his oath as the sixth democratically-elected President, Cyril Ramaphosa has said: “Yes, South Africa, Thuma Mina”.
“You, the people of South Africa, have sent them, and you have sent me, as your President. Having taken the oath of office I am saying yes, South Africa Thuma Mina,” President Ramaphosa said on Saturday.
“I pledge here today that I will serve you, I will work with you, side by side, to build the South Africa that we all want and deserve.”
The President said this in his address to the nation, and the world, after his inauguration at Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld Stadium. He continued with the mantra Thuma Mina (which means send me) taken from a popular hit of the late jazz musician Hugh Masekela, which dominated the last months of the fifth administration, when the President took over the reigns from former President Jacob Zuma.
In front of a 30 000-strong, packed stadium, which was attended by among others, former Presidents and Heads of State from the DRC, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Uganda, Lesotho and Eswatini, President Ramaphosa said despite the challenges the country faces, South Africans remain resolute, resilient and unwavering in their desire for a better South Africa.
“Through the irrefutable power of the ballot on 8 May, South Africans declared the dawn of a new era which saw the ANC winning the National and Provincial Elections.”
Despite the different political parties which contested the elections, the President said, they all share the same hopes and fears, the same anxieties and aspirations for the country.
“This new government draws comfort from the knowledge that, that which unites us is far, far more powerful and enduring than that which divides us.
“They have chosen hope over hopelessness, they have opted for unity over conflict and divisions,” the President said, adding that the sixth administration is a defining moment for the young nation of 25 years.
“Today is the choice of history. It is through our actions now that we will determine our destiny. South Africans want action and not just words.”
He committed to continue building a South Africa that was guided by values, defined by equality, solidarity and a shared humanity – a country that knows neither privilege nor disadvantage – which will be made possible by the mobilisation of the country’s resources and the working together of government, business and ordinary citizens.
In this regard, he said, the Constitution as the basic law of the land will be a guide as the country embarks on a new era.