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I will be president for all South Africans - Cyril Ramaphosa

Collectively all of us who are here have a mandate to build a nation founded on social justice, says President in NA

'I will be president for all South Africans' - Ramaphosa after election in National Assembly

President Cyril Ramaphosa said he will be a president for all South Africans after he was elected president unopposed by the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Ramaphosa said he is "truly honoured and humbled to be elected to serve people of South Africa".

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

"I will be a president for all South Africans, and not just for the African National Congress."

'Honour, dignity and respect'

He said the composition of the National Assembly is a reflection of the will of the people.

"Collectively all of us who are here have a mandate to build a nation founded on social justice. They also have a mandate to revive the economy to create jobs to actualise hope so that people's aspirations are met.

He also said there was a need to rekindle institutions that supported the country's democracy.

He said South Africans expected a robust exchange of views in the National Assembly.

"They would like to see us dealing with each other with honour, dignity and respect."

He said people does not want to see a house that degenerate into chaos and disorder.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said Ramaphosa's election comes at a crucial time for South Africa and that the country needs a Parliament that works for it.

He said the DA will be the first to praise steps Ramaphosa takes in the interest of the country, but that they will hold him to account if he shields looters.

"May this be a season of better collaboration," Maimane concluded.

EFF leader Julius Malema addressed Ramaphosa as "Comrade President" and said he hopes he will be president of a corruption-free government.

He warned Ramaphosa not to surround him with sycophants.

"You need someone who is going to be honest with you."

"We've not elected the Oppenheimers. We have not elected the Rupert's here."

FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald called on Ramaphosa to ensure the interests of the people of South Africa are more important than those of the governing party, and to ensure nation building.

"The people of South Africa wants hope," Groenewald said.

"Land!" EFF MPs shouted.

Groenewald said his party wants to build South Africa, but also the protection of minority rights.

GOOD leader Patricia de Lille, said Ramaphosa is weighed down by the expectations of South Africa.

"I want to offer to you the support of GOOD and the love of GOOD. But the love is not unconditional, Mr. President."

De Lille said GOOD believes in holding government accountable in a constructive manner.

Gwede Mantashe spoke on behalf of the ANC.

"Today we are cooperating. That will be the character of the 6th Parliament.

"We have one objective to build a better country. A better country is good for the citizens of this country.

"But I want to appeal to all of you to not drag us into the mud.

"The ANC will do the right thing. We will serve the people."

Ramaphosa told Maimane that he is known for collaboration and told Malema he would not be serving special interests. He did add, however, that he would work with everybody, including captains of industry.

"So my focus, honourable Malema, is going to be on serving the interests of South Africans.

"No special interests, only the interests of our people as a whole."

"I'm prepared to work with the Freedom Front Plus to build South Africa," he told Groenewald.

News24