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Ramaphosa elected S.African's president

Published : Thursday, 15 February, 2018 at 8:51 PM Count : 160


Cape Town : South African lawmakers on Thursday elected Cyril Ramaphosa as the country's new president after scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma resigned under pressure from his own ANC ruling party.


Ramaphosa was elected without a vote after being the only candidate nominated in the parliament in Cape Town, chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng told assembled lawmakers, said AFP.


BBC adds :He was the only candidate nominated in parliament on Thursday so no vote was needed to make him president. MPs from the ruling African National Congress broke into song at the announcement.


In a speech to parliament Mr Ramaphosa, 65, said that corruption was on his radar.


The ANC had told Mr Zuma to step down or face a vote of no-confidence.


In a televised statement he said he was quitting with immediate effect but said he disagreed with his party's decision.


Mr Zuma faces numerous corruption allegations but denies any wrongdoing.


One opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, walked out of the parliamentary debate. It wants new elections, rather than the ANC deciding on the identity of the new president.


There is a renewed sense of hope as Mr Ramaphosa is taking over the reins of Africa's most industrialised economy.


The markets appeared to welcome Mr Zuma's resignation. The South African currency, the rand, reaching its strongest levels in three years - at 11.6570 rand for $1 in early trading.


Some will miss him though, pointing to achievements like announcing the abolition of fees for higher education, says the BBC's Milton Nkosi in Johannesburg.


Mr Zuma, a former member of the ANC's military wing in the days of apartheid, rose through the ranks of the party to become president. He led the country for more than a third of its time after apartheid.


But he leaves office with several scandals hanging over him, and with South Africa's economy in dire straits.


On Wednesday, police swooped on the Johannesburg home of the powerful and wealthy Gupta family.


Eight suspects appeared in court on Thursday on fraud and money laundering charges, local media report. But they did not include any of the best-known Gupta brothers - Ajay, Atul and Rajesh.


Among the eight in court was Varun Gupta, who was Chief Operating Officer of the Gupta-owned mining firm Oakbay Resources and Energy. He is yet to make a plea in court.


The Guptas have been accused of using their close friendship with the president to wield enormous political influence. They deny all allegations of wrongdoing.

LY







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