Former human settlements minister Tokyo Sexwale. Picture: Patrick B Kraemer/Keystone via AP/African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - The inauguration of president-elect Cyril Ramaphosa was on Saturday described as a period of renewal and continuation of the "new dawn" for all South Africans.   

Ramaphosa is set to be inaugurated as the fifth democratic president on Saturday morning at Loftus Versfeld, in Pretoria, following his reelection in Parliament earlier this week.

Among those in attendance was former human settlements minister Tokyo Sexwale, who spoke of the ushering in the dawn under Ramaphosa's leadership. 

"The president has proclaimed that we are in the middle of a dawn. The dawn is not sunrise, it's just the beginning of the light. 

"We must move with the dawn so that we can have the sun shining over South Africa, in all the different corners of the country where people who cannot be here today are."

Sexwale's words were echoed by SACP first deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila who said Saturday's inauguration was a period of renewal for the country. 

SACP second deputy secretary General Solly Mapaila arriving for the presidential inauguration. Video: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency/ANA


He went on to express confidence in Ramaphosa and his willingness to "serve", adding that he looked forward to a more committed Cabinet.

"We're looking forward to having a committee that's more committed to responding to the needs of our people. 

"This is an exciting period, a period of renewal and we're looking forward to the development of our country," he said. 

Also weighing in on Saturday's inauguration was the EFF's Kenny Motsamai, who was attending the inauguration for the first time. 

 EFF parliamentary member Kenny Motsamai arriving with other dignitaries for the Presidential Inauguration. Video: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)


Motsamai, recently sworn in as a permanent delegate to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), used the occasion to implore Ramaphosa to not forget incarcerated political prisoners. 

"He mustn't forget there are still comrades, political prisoners, who are still behind bars. When he do each and everything, let him consider that we need our people to be freed," he said.

IOL