African and world heads of state head to SA for Ramaphosa’s inauguration

President Cyril Ramaphosa will be inaugurated on Wednesday. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi Independent Newspapers

President Cyril Ramaphosa will be inaugurated on Wednesday. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 18, 2024


Various dignitaries from across the world – including current and former heads of state and government – are expected to attend the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday.

This was confirmed by Ramaphosa on Tuesday, who indicated that at least 18 heads of state and government, three former heads of state and government and nine heads of delegation are expected to attend.

Among those already confirmed to be in attendance is Nigeria’s Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who on Monday arrived in Pretoria for Ramaphosa’s second term of office.

Another African head of state already confirmed is South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit, who was due to have a meeting with Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Sihle Zikalala.

However, this engagement was called off at the eleventh hour on Tuesday afternoon.

“The ceremony will be witnessed by South African and international guests, including South African royalty, Members of Parliament, representatives of political parties, leaders of organised labour, business and civil society organisations, religious leaders and South Africans who have excelled in various capacities and endeavours,” it said.

Furthermore, Ramaphosa’s office said it expects the inauguration to also include regional and continental organisations.

“Attendees will include representatives of regional, continental and international organisations and bodies such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN),” Ramaphosa’s office said in statement.

Ramaphosa’s office also indicated that there will be additional confirmations which are being received, including those from Swaziland, Egypt and Uganda.

“Countries that will be represented at a high level at the inauguration include the Kingdom of eSwatini and Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republics of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Angola and Tanzania; the Republic of Uganda, the People’s Republic of China, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the State of Palestine and the Republic of Cuba,” the Presidency said.

Ramaphosa, who enters his second term under the Government of National Unity (GNU), which includes the DA, IFP, and Patriotic Alliance, among others, held a walkabout at the venue on Tuesday afternoon to assess the state of readiness.

His office also reports that the formal proceedings will take place at 11am, while members of the public are expected to start trickling in as early as 8am.

“Members of the public are encouraged to use the park and ride at Tshwane Showgrounds. People can park their cars and take a free bus to the Union Buildings.The programme for the day will commence with a cultural programme for members of the public on the South Lawns of the Union Buildings at 9am,” the office said.

The Star