Picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters
Parliament - Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as South Africa's new president by the National Assembly on Thursday, a day after the deeply unpopular Jacob Zuma was forced to resign by the ruling party.

Ramaphosa, 65, was the sole candidate put forward by the National Assembly and takes up the top post two decades after he was considered by Nelson Mandela as his successor, only to be pushed aside by the party in favour of Thabo Mbeki.

His nomination was seconded by veteran ANC MP Joan Fubbs, who said: "He is a selfless, disciplined leader and he knows he is here to serve the people of South Africa."

Ramaphosa rose and accepted the nomination with a smile and a loud ''yes, I do".

There was only one candidate and Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng then declared Ramaphosa president, prompting singing and dancing in the ANC benches.

Opposition MPs opted not to put forward a candidate, but instead to call for Parliament to be dissolved and the country hold fresh elections. The Economic Freedom Fighters argued that Ramaphosa was tainted by his role in arguing for police action ahead of the shooting of 34 striking miners at Marikana in 2012.

The party left the chamber in protest ahead of his nomination.