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‘Please help us our president’

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iol nws may 25 union south lawn2

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Crowds gathering on south lawn of Union Buildings.

Pretoria - Jacob Zuma's inauguration at the Union Buildings has drawn South Africans from all over country who have travelled to the capital city for the historic occasion.

Samuel Jeffrey Masutha has come all the way from Hamutsha village in Limpopo.

Masutha said he had been watching presidential inaugurations live from the southern lawns since Nelson Mandela took the oath after the 1994 general elections.

“I have seen them all, from Mandela to Thabo Mbeki and Zuma's first term in 2009. It is a very important occasion for me, a glorious moment for South Africa, the continent and the world,” he said.

Tshamaano Ratshikhopa hail from a remote village outside Louis Trichadt in Limpopo.

He said it was his first time to attend the inauguration, having watched it on television since 1994.

“My vote is not a secret, and I voted for the ANC on May 7. I have now come here to see everything through to the end. This is the fruit of my vote,” he said.

Emily Tshabalala arrived at 5am from Harrismith. Tshabalala, with Sibongile Mazibuko, travelled by road with seven other people.

Mazibuko said she diarised the May 24 trip to Pretoria long before going to the polls earlier this month.

However, Tshabalala said her community back at home in Harrismith was hoping for improved service delivery in Zuma's second term of office.

She said they lived in a farm and had no houses, water, electricity and roads. “Please help us our president,” she said.

Cultural groups continue to entertain the masses, most of whom are you looking have now settled in front of the stage.

There was a loud cheer when the national anthem was played on the loud speaker.

Yhe programme director called for the people raise the flags the late former president Nelson Mandela, to which they obliged.

A minor confusion occurred when a footage of Zuma taking the oath in 2009 was beamed on the screen.

But the programme director swiftly explained it was an old video clip and that proceedings for the day had not yet started.

There will be a live crossing to the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre when the official programme starts, the crowd was assured. - Pretoria News Weekend


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