Mandela’s Example Will Guide Us, Says Ramaphosa


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa , Wife and a state official after being sworn-in yesterday (AFP)


New South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa addressed parliament in Cape Town where he

gave the country’s State of the Nation Address on Friday.

He urged South Africans to continue the “long walk” Nelson Mandela began in a State of the Nation Address which touched on corruption, poverty, gender equality and racial divides.

Mr Ramaphosa, who was sworn in as president yesterday, told those gathered in Cape Town to hear the speech that the country should look to Mr Mandela’s example during what would have been his hundredth year.

“We are continuing the long walk he began, to build a society in which all may be free, in which all may be equal before the law and in which all may share in the wealth of our land and have a better life,” he said.

Mr Ramaphosa’s speech emphasises a feeling of hope which appears to have swept the country since he took power this week following nine years under Jacob Zuma’s presidency.

Mr Zuma’s tenure was marked by allegations of corruption at the highest levels.

Mr Ramaphosa stood on for the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) on an anti-corruption platform, and once again turned to Mr Mandela’s example to drive through the message he would not accept any such behaviour under his watch.

“We have dedicated this year to [Mr Mandela’s] memory and we will devote our every action, every effort, every utterance to the realisation of his vision of a democratic, just and equitable society,” he said.

“Guided by his example, we will use this year to reinforce our commitment to ethical behaviour and ethical leadership.”

He has thanked South Africans for their patience during the last turbulent week – which was met with applause. However, when he thanked his predecessor Jacob Zuma for the manner in which he had stepped aside, the chamber erupted into boos. It has not gone unnoticed that Mr Zuma is not present at the speech.