1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
PoliticsSouth Africa

South Africa: Cyril Ramaphosa sworn in for second term

June 19, 2024

Ramaphosa has taken his oath of office and will lead a government of national unity. Among those partnering him in government are his largest rivals, the Democratic Alliance.

Cyril Ramaphosa (R) takes the oath of office next to South Africa's Chief Justice Raymond Zondo
Ramaphosa was reelected as South Africa's president by the National Assembly on 14 June 2024, following the country's general elections held on 29 MayImage: Kim Ludbrook/EPA

Cyril Ramaphosa was on Wednesday sworn in for a second term as South African president amid pomp and ceremony, weeks after his African National Congress (ANC) party lost its majority.

South Africa's Chief Justice Raymond Zondo led proceedings with Ramaphosa taking his oath of office before various ministers, foreign dignitaries, religious and traditional leaders, and supporters at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

South African soldiers marching ahead of Cyril Ramaphosa's inauguration ceremony for his second term as president
Ramaphosa took his his oath of office at the Union Buildings in PretoriaImage: Phill Magakoe/EPA

Ramaphosa takes oath of office

Heads of state, including Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Angola's Joao Lourenco, Congo Brazzaville's Denis Sassou Nguesso and Eswatini's absolute leader King Mswati III were in attendance.

"In the presence of everyone assembled here, and in full realization of the high calling I assume as President... I Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa," Ramaphosa said.

After Ramaphosa took the oath, the national anthem was played, followed by a 21-gun salute and a fly-past by army helicopters towing large South African flags.         

South Africans waving flags ahead of the inauguration of South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa as President at the Union Buildings
President Cyril Ramaphosa must now decide on what his next cabinet will look like under a unity governmentImage: Jerome Delay/AP/picture alliance

New era in South African politics

Ramaphosa will lead what is being called a government of national unity along with five other political parties, including political opponents, the pro-business Democratic Alliance (DA).

The choices for his incoming cabinet are not yet known, and a negotiation process will determine what the new governing alliance will look like.

"The president does not want the country to go through a prolonged period of uncertainty," spokesman in the presidency Vincent Magwenya told national broadcaster SABC.

"This time around, there is a small layer of complexity in that he has to consult with the various parties that form part of the government of national unity. Those consultations have been underway. They will continue, even tonight," he said.

The ANC, which came to power in 1994 after the end of Apartheid in South Africa, lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in the elections on May 29. 

With only 159 out of the 400 seats in the National Assembly, the party had to rely on the Democratic Alliance (DA), which secured 87 seats, to secure Ramaphosa's reelection.

South Africa: Ramaphosa reelected after coalition deal

kb/rc (Reuters, AFP)