Hundreds arrive for Jacob Zuma inauguration

2014-05-24 09:07

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Hundreds of people braved the chilly weather and made their way to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to witness President Jacob Zuma’s inauguration.

Some people were singing and dancing while others enjoyed a breakfast meal provided on arrival.

There was heavy police on the South Lawns where a big stage and projector screens had been set up.

At least four marquees were set up around the lawn, including one for the elderly.

Children huddled beside their parents as they watched the scenes.

Streets around the venue have been cordoned off, with police at almost every intersection.

About 4 500 foreign and local dignitaries are expected to attend, including Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace, Botswana’s Ian Khama and Madagascar’s Hery Rajaonarimampianina.

The pomp and ceremony will include an air force flypast and a 21-gun salute. The army band will entertain guests at the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre from 5am, while the cultural programme, which is expected to include performances from Kurt Darren and DJ Vetkuk, starts at 8am.

The formal ceremony begins at 11am. Zuma will be sworn in by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, and is scheduled to announce his new Cabinet tomorrow.

The inauguration will be attended by heads of state and government, deputy heads, and former heads from 47 countries, but no one from the United Kingdom, Europe or America.

Also in attendance will be DA leader Helen Zille and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Magdalene Moonsamy. All EFF MPs have received invitations, but it is unclear if leader Julius Malema will attend.

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