, PRETORIA, May 9 – President Mwai Kibaki on Saturday joined other world leaders for the inauguration of the fourth president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma.
The inauguration ceremony which was held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria was presided over by the South African Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court Pius Nkonzo Langa.
Jacob Zuma won the majority vote in the recently concluded general elections in which 65 per cent of voters polled for his party, the African National Congress.
In his inaugural speech, President Zuma said the swearing in ceremony marked a moment of renewal and commitment to democracy where discrimination will never again take place.
He commended former South African leaders Nelson Mandela, Fredrick de Klerk, Thambo Mbeki and the immediate former President Kgalema Motlanthe for the exemplary service they have rendered to the people of South Africa.
Singling out the African continent for singular appreciation, President Jacob Zuma hailed world nations for the support they extended to South Africa during the struggle for freedom saying South Africa will always cherish friendship and partnership with other nations.
Noting that the current global financial meltdown has spawned serious challenges to South Africa and the world at large, President Zuma pledged to address the key challenges facing South Africa by implementing the ANC manifesto, the platform upon which he was elected.
The colorful ceremony was graced by a large number of Heads of State and Government from across the world.
Among the African Heads of State in attendance were African Union Chairman who is also the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddaffi, King Mswati of Swaziland, Presidents Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania.