Members of the South African National Defence Force parade at Loftus Versfeld Stadium ahead of the presidential inauguration on Saturday. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/ANA

Pretoria - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) batallion will parade for the first time during the presidential inauguration to be held at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Speaking for SANDF Captain (SAN) Chris Khumalo said: "It is the first time that we are going to have a parade with all army services represented for the inauguration because normally it is only the ceremonial guard."

The batallion to salute the president will consist of the national ceremonial guard, members from the SA army, air force, navy and SA military service.

Today the batallion participated in an integrated rehearsal at the stadium with three days to go before Ramaphosa takes his oath of office.

Khumalo said it was not unusual to have the batallion saluting the president during the inauguration ceremony.

Members of the South African National Defence Force parade at Loftus Versfeld Stadium ahead of the presidential inauguration on Saturday. Video: Oupa Mokoena/ANA

"It is just that in the past the inauguration was always done at the Union Buildings and because of the space we could not have the entire batallion.

"It is a show of force that we will display," he said.

One of the things that will set apart this coming inauguration will be the part where the preamble of the constitution is handed over to the president. 

Khumalo said: "What is also going to be different is that the preamble of the constitution will be given by the defence force to the president. 

"Normally it is the Chief Justice who gives it to the president."

"There are at least 32 000 public members from across the country who are expected to attend the event.

The SANDF could not disclose the number of aircraft to be showcased on the day except that it will be bringing "anything and everything that flies".

Pretoria News