Jacob Zuma elected as South Africa’s President

Ruling ANC chief Jacob Zuma, was elected as South Africa’s president by the country’s parliament with a thumping majority, vowed to work quickly to promote friendship, harmony and bolster the nation’s economy.


Zuma polled 277 votes as against his opponent Mvume Dandala, who got 47 votes in the parliament, convened for the first time after he led African National Congress (ANC) to a landslide win. Three votes were cancelled.

67-year-old African leader was nominated by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the former wife of South Africa’s first democratic president Nelson Mandela.

“I stand before this house and the nation overwhelmed by the task ahead. I am truly humbled to serve as the fourth president of the country,” he told parliament in Cape Town, shortly after lawmakers named him the new president.

“We expect hard work and utmost dedication,” he said.

President-elect Zuma said he will be more accessible and a hands-on president in order to achieve the socio- economic development and upliftment of all people.

South Africa, he said, is a remarkable country with very special people. We normally get caught up with our day to day challenges and forget this fact.

“We made history in 1994 and opted for harmony, peace and stability. We elected our first president, our icon Nelson Mandela whom we all love dearly. Madiba taught us the importance of forgiveness, reconciliation and humility. He made us walk tall and be proud to be South Africans.

“I would do my best to take this country forward toward Madiba’s vision of a people united in diversity. With the support of my organisation as well as all South Africans I will work to promote friendship, co-operation, harmony, unity and faster change,” Zuma said.

“Our people have high expectations. As the executive we will do our best to be more hands and accessible so that we can delver on our commitment,” Zuma said, adding that he would work with the Inkatha Freedom Party to promote reconciliation between the ANC and the IFP.

Zuma, who will be inaugurated as president on May 9, said: “I should be able to produce a team that will work very hard and with the necessary speed. We mean business when we talk about faster change.”