Free State ANC chairperson Ace Magashule was on Wednesday declared Free State premier during the inauguration of members of the provincial legislature.

The announcement of Magashule's premiership by acting Free State Judge President Faan Hancke was greeted with a huge cheer, chanting and the singing of ANC songs at the Mangaung Indoor Sport's Centre.

Magashule later thanked the ANC for the appointment.

The leader of COPE in the legislature, Cascha Mokitlane, also congratulated Magashule. He told Magashule his election was a personal and organisational triumph.

Free State Freedom Front Plus leader Abrie Oosthuizen said: "It's been a long, long walk for the honourable premier, but at last he is premier."

Oosthuizen urged Magashule to gather a strong team around him to lead the province.

Democratic Alliance leader Roy Jankielsohn said Magashule should ensure the province delivered on quality education, healthcare and infrastructure. - Sapa