Pretoria, May 24:
South African President Jacob Zuma was sworn in Saturday for a second five-year term at a ceremony attended by hundreds of foreign dignitaries.
Held in front of the Union Buildings in the country’s capital Pretoria, the ceremony began with inter-faith prayers for “peace, justice and dignity”, followed by a recital of the preamble to the constitution of South Africa, Xinhua reported.
The swearing-in of the president was presided by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
Then Zuma signed the swearing-in certificate and took the national salute as the South Africa Air Force executed a fly-past and the SA Defence Force performed a 21-gun salute.
Dignitaries from around 47 countries were attending the inauguration ceremony. They include heads of state and government, deputy heads, and former heads.
According to the organisers of the event, more than 20,000 people attended the inauguration.
“This is a historical event. I’m proud to be a witness. I’m confident the country will become better in the next five years,” said Lisia Lynn, who came from Johannesburg.
In an address to the nation, Zuma said he was greatly honoured to accept the mandate bestowed upon him to lead this great nation for the next five years.
“Ours is a nation that has produced generations of selfless freedom fighters… This is a nation that has worked tirelessly to build a new society from the ashes of apartheid… opting for reconciliation instead of retribution,” Xinhua quoted Zuma as saying.