PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa applauds as confetti showers down after the 2019 election results ceremony, at the Independent Electoral Commission Results Centre in Pretoria on Saturday. Ben Curtis AP
OPINION - The votes are cast, the results announced and there’s a hum and bustle on board the SS South Africa. There’s jubilation on board and the champagne corks are popping as it gets ready to sail on yet another long voyage with its all-ANC crew.

At the helm will be a promising leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, on whose shoulders rests the hopes of the nation. But before he weighs anchor he has the crucial task of choosing the right officers who would serve him and the country faithfully, or he could face mutiny on the open seas.

He has to start with a clean sheet - get rid of all the rogue officials who have been the ruin of the country, or we will run into troubled waters again.

In his first spell as leader of the nation, he had to manoeuvre carefully not to rock the boat and jeopardise his position. On his election campaign he spoke out against corruption and promised to give corrupt public servants the boot.

He managed to convince both the public and the business community that he was the right man to lead the country out of the corrupt Zuma era. Now that he has won the mandate of the electorate, he is in full command and need not fear the mambas in his party.

Not only does he have crooked officials in his government, but there are also some useless, incompetent and lazy individuals. He needs to rid us of all of them. Having them on board any longer would not only mean trouble for him, but it would slow down the pace of economic progress in the country. The sooner he jettisons them and lets them all perish at sea, the better for all of us.

The question now is: would he keep his election promise and be brave enough to do it? Or would there be fierce horse trading in the corridors of power yet again? Ramaphosa has proved to be a skilled tactician and a successful businessman. Now he must succeed where Zuma failed: avoid floundering on the rocks and turn the country around to prosperity. Ironically, Zuma is his lighthouse and Ramaphosa is our only beacon of hope.

T Markandan Silverglen

Daily News