“South Africa must come first in everything that we all do”.
These were the words of newly-elected president Cyril Ramaphosa in response well wishes and advice by leaders of political parties after his election as head of state on Thursday.
Ramaphosa addressed the National Assembly for the first time as president‚ first thanking members for electing him.
“I truly feel humbled given this privilege to serve our people‚” he said.
Ramaphosa told the opposition that he would want to work with all political parties and will begin a series of engagements with them.
“I will come to this house on a regular basis to exercise accountability‚” he said.
Ramaphosa said opposition leaders spoke about unity‚ patriotism and working together — things that resonate with what he wants to do.
Ramaphosa responded to all the words of opposition leaders‚ reassuring them that he will put the country first.
“I will try very hard not to disappoint the people of South Africa‚” he said.
In response to DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s statement that he would see Ramaphosa at the ballot box‚ Ramaphosa said he should leave elections aside for now.
“Let’s deal with the current moment. Rather than grandstanding‚” he said.