We're watching you, warns opposition as 'humbled' Ramaphosa elected president

By MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA Time of article published May 22, 2019

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Parliament - President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday that he was humbled to be re-elected to serve the people of South Africa once more again.

"This is a deep honour for me. I'm humbled by this," Ramaphosa said when he delivered the acceptance speech in the National Assembly.

He was elected unopposed, and will be at the helm for the next five years.

"I will seek to act and be the president of all South Africans, not just for those who voted for the party I lead.

The election of Ramaphosa was warmly received by opposition parties, who offered to collaborate and lend their support to the new administration under Ramaphosa.

In congratulating Ramaphosa on his election, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said they needed a Parliament that worked for all South Africans.

"We are entrusted with the duty to serve the people," Maimane said.

He also said his party would be the first to support Ramaphosa if he took decisions in the interests of the country.

"When you shield those who have looted, we will hold you to account. Those who looted should be in jail," he said, adding that he hoped that there would be new season for better cooperation.

EFF leader Julius Malema said Ramaphoa should be the president for a corrupt-free government, and urged him to consider fresh blood in his Cabinet and also discard long-serving ministers.

Malema also warned the re-elected president about listening to white monopoly capital such as the Ruperts and Opperheimers.

"Listen to the collective wisdom of the people, not white monopoly capital," he said.

"Once you listen to the white monopoly capital, you must know that you are unlikely to finish your term.

"We are watching you and we will openly engage you, not in secret," Malema said.

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said there was a huge responsibility on Ramaphosa's shoulders.

"The people of South Africa want hope for the future. You are now the president of all the people of South Africa," he said.

"You must ensure the interests of the people of South Africa are more important than the interests of your party," Groenewald said, adding that Ramaphosa should also ensure nation-building.

He also said his party wanted to play a role in building South Africa.

"Freedom Front Plus says let's stop fighting for a better roast but fight for a better future," Groenewald said.

ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe said he expected Ramaphosa to be tough on corruption.

"We hope the president will deal with corruption wherever it raises its head," Meshoe said.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said if Ramaphosa applied a non-partisan approach, he would get a lot of support from the House.

Good leader Patricia de Lille said: " We would like to see the whole government accountable."

ATM leader Vuyo Zungula said they wanted  practical solutions to problems facing the country.

COPE leader Mosiuoa Lekota said: "We will place our fate in your hands. We will provide support we can give."

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe said the governing party was committing to doing the right thing and serving the people.

"We are excited and we commit to work hard, do what is in the best interests of our people," Mantashe said.

Responding to the congratulatory messages, Ramaphosa said the composition of the House was a reflection of the will of the people.

"We are all united as MPs to do what our people would like to see done,"he said.

He also said collaboration would underpin his mandate and that his mandate would be derived from the masses of the people.

"My focus is to advance the interests of our people. In this case it will be to advance the interests of our masses still suffering from poverty, unemployment and inequality,"Ramaphosa said.

"We need to get down to work so that people see us address their needs and aspirations and the government working with them.

Ramaphsa also said they would ensure that the government was accountable and that change that people yearned for took place.

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