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AS IT HAPPENED: Presidential inauguration

2014-05-24 08:49
Foreign dignitaries attending President Jacob Zuma's inauguration include heads of state and government, deputy heads, and former heads, the international relations department said on Friday.

Dignitaries from around 47 countries were expected at Saturday's inauguration ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Sapa reports.

If you want to watch the inauguration, public viewing areas have been set up around the country. Click here to find out where.

Also find out which roads around Pretoria will be closed.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts or send us your photos


12:53 - That's it for the updates. Cheers. 


12:44 - Read Zuma's full address here.


12:34 - 


12:33 - Delegates now leaving.


12:31 - Here endeth the ceremony then. 


12:25 - 


12:23 - Zuma takes his leave, holding MaKhumalo's hand tightly.


12:22 - 


12:21 - Another fly over as introduced by Jeff Radebe. This one includes an Airbus.


12:17 - Zuma concludes speech. The national anthem again from a military band. With a fly over. 


12:12 - Zuma: Government will promote nation building programmes to rebuild the soul of our nation.


12:11 - "Compatriots... we have a lot of work to do."


12:10 - Land restitution and redistribution and other forms of empowerment will be better executed during this term - Zuma


12:08 - Zuma: We have made some progress in changing ownership and control of the economy but more to be done


12:06 - "Economic transfomation will take centre stage during this new term of government."


12:04 - Zuma: While the lives of millions of people have improved; poverty & inequality still exists


12:03 -  Zuma: it is through hard work that we are able to count so many achievements...


12:01 - "We mark 20 years since Nelson Mandela took the oath of office at this very amphitheatre."


12:01 - President Zuma: Honoured to lead this great nation for the next five years. Accepts responsibility with great humility


11:57 - Zuma starts speech. Are you doing the drinking game? At... midday.


11:54 - 


11:53 - 



11:44 - Now the national anthem.


11:42 - Praise-singer now. He mentions the "possibilities of flexibilities" which sounds awesome (though I'm not sure what he's referring to).


11:40 - Zuma signs certificate of oath.


11:38 - "I, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa..."


11:37 - "In the presence of every one here..." Zuma repeats after Mogoeng.


11:37 - Zuma to be sworn in now. Mogoeng invites him to "come and take the oath of office".


11:36 - 



11:35 - Young girl of about 15 years reads from the Constitution. Quite lovely.


11:34 - 



11:31 - Muslim imam now doing the next prayer.


11:29 - "HEAVY DELAYS in and around the Wonderboom junction area," tweets EWN Traffic. I imagine this is related to the inauguration.


11:27 - Priest leading everyone in prayer. Prays for "peace, justice and dignity".


11:23 - Zuma emerges from the vehicles as cheers erupt. He greets all the military folk.  MaKhumalo is at his side.


11:22 - Officials vehicles arriving. 'RSA 1' number plate,. Zuma is here.


11:21 - All delegates seated. Absolute silence in the amphitheatre. We wait for Zuma...


11:15 - Not too bad - proceedings are only 15 minutes late. Which, for government, is actually early. Guard of honour happening right now. Waiting for Zuma to arrive.


11:12 - 



11:11 - Presidential guard arrives.


11:09 - Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has also arrived with his partner.


11:07 - Big cheers for former president Thabo Mbeki and his wife Zanele. More for Kgalema Motlanthe and his wife Gugu Mtshali. 


11:07 - 



11:06 - 



11:04 - Zuma's wives are arriving now. In separate cars. 


11:02 - The pomp and ceremony of a presidential inauguration would not be complete without some high fashion, with guests attending Jacob Zuma's swearing in at the Union Buildings donning their best outfits, Sapa reports.

There is a strict formal dress code for an inauguration, however there was not much glitz and glam with guests opting for a more sophisticated look.

A number of men opted for traditional attire - a few with animal skins around their waists and headdresses.

Many women either wore a hat or fascinator, and some were visibly uncomfortable in their stilettos.

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille wore a black dress and coat with a leopard print fascinator in black and gold with a matching scarf.

Pregnant businesswoman and TV personality Basetsana Kumalo looked radiant in a flowy purple dress with peacock feathers around the collar and bright green stiletto heels.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela wore a cream long sleeve crop top with a matching skirt and a chiffon overlay extending from the bottom of her top over the skirt.

The majority of women wore two piece jacket and skirt suits.

Navy blue and black suits were the order of the day for many of the male folk attending the inauguration.

Former police commissioner Bheki Cele wore a silky blue suit with his signature Panama hat.
Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane also wore a silk suit but in black.

Dali Tambo, the son of former ANC president Oliver Tambo, wore a blue pinstripe suit with a white scarf.

He is known for his flamboyant dress-sense.

Some guests wore interesting coats to keep warm in the chilly autumn morning, many sporting faux fur collars.

Many expected Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema to arrive at the inauguration in his red overall, boiler hat and gumboots, but the firebrand leader adhered to the strict dress code and arrived in a black suit and tie.

His colleague Dali Mpofu wore a black suit and bright red button-up shirt.


10:58 - Helen Zille makes her feelings clear on the Zimbabwean president: "A huge cheer goes up for Robert Gabriel Mugabe, commander in chief blah blah...Too depressing. What message does that send out?" she tweets.


10:55 - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has just arrived with his wife Grace to great cheers.



10:49 - 



10:46 - 



10:44 - 



10:36 - The president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, has just arrived.


10:19 - 



10:16 - Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at the inauguration. (Photo from AFP)


10:08 - It was a blessing to witness the inauguration of a fellow Nkandla resident, a group who travelled from the northern KwaZulu-Natal village said on Saturday.

"President Jacob Zuma makes us people from Nkandla very proud," said Dumisani Mpungose shortly after he arrived to witness the Zuma's presidential inauguration at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

"It’s a blessing to be here and witness this historical moment."

Mpungose, Mxolisi Ngcobo, 22 and groups of other men and women departed from Nkandla in two buses on Friday morning.

"We gathered at the president's home from very early on Friday to make sure we travel nicely without rushing to Pretoria," Mpungose said.

They slept in a hotel in the Pretoria CBD.

The group had ANC-branded blankets draped over their shoulders as they re-grouped on the Union Building lawns.

There were significant developments in Nkandla since the advent of democracy, Mpungose said.

"I work in the deep rural sides of Nkandla, and I can tell you that after 20 years, the place is different from how it was in 1994."

Ngcobo said the first time he voted was on 7 May.

"It is my first time here at the Union Buildings, I am here because I believe that this government will work harder to improve my life as a young person."

Police kept an eye on the crowds who were kept dancing to music blaring from massive speakers on the stage.


10:04 - 



9:59 - 



9:57 - Justice Minister Jeff Radebe asked guests after 09:20 on Saturday to take their seats as proceedings at the presidential inauguration of Jacob Zuma was due to start, Sapa says. Though at this point, 09:57, proceedings haven’t actually got under way.

"The action is about to begin," he said.

The formal ceremony was expected to begin at 11:00. Zuma will be sworn in by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, and is scheduled to announce his new Cabinet on Sunday.

The inauguration is being attended by heads of state and government, deputy heads, and former heads from 47 countries. However there were no representatives from the United Kingdom, Europe, or United States of America.

Most guests do appear to have been seated though.


9:47 - Jacob Zuma's nephew Khulubuse Zuma. (Picture from AFP)


9:43 - Sapa reports: Guests were seen taking group pictures and selfies on the staircase as others, some in fashionable attire, walked passed.

Dali Tambo arrived in a blue pinstripe suit and white scarf. He was accompanied by his wife.

Among the other guests were Mac Maharaj, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, Jimmy Manyi, retired judge Ian Farlam, anti-apartheid activist Sophie De Bruyn and Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus.

Nathi Mthethwa, Blade Nzimande, Fikile Mbalula, and Malusi Gigaba were also seen.
Various provincial MEC were also arriving.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema arrived in a black suit and tie, accompanied by party members Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and Dali Mpofu.

ANC Youth League convenor Mzwandile Masina was seen chatting to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

A lot of MP seats were empty by 09:00. People seated on the right side of the amphitheatre were using umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun. The umbrellas were given to them on arrival.

Portable toilets set up at the venue were mopped constantly each time it was used.

Security officials were stationed at various points of the property, including the rooftop.

Union Building officials were dressed in plain black outfits matched with silk ties of the South African flag, and women in silk scarves.


9:38 - 



9:33 - In the background, on the left, you can see the DA's Mmusi Maimane (who might be the party's next parliamentary leader). He wears suits really well.


9:27 - Former defence minister Nosiviwe Maphisa-Nqakula.



9:15 - Some singing and dancing happening now. Entertainers at this year's inauguration include Kurt Darren and Mara Louw.


9:08 - A very jovial Julius Malema has arrived, meeting and greeting as he goes. He's wearing a rather well-fitting black suit with a black tie and white shirt.


9:03 - Local politicians, business people, entertainers and members of civil society arrived at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Sapa writes.

ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela took her seat in the amphitheatre, which is named after her ex-husband former president Nelson Mandela. She was dressed in black as she was still in mourning following Mandela's death in December last year.

ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe welcomed guests to the event. Radebe joked about how some MPs were nervously waiting for Zuma's Cabinet announcement on Sunday.

"Trevor Manuel is the only one not worried about tomorrow," he said as the crowd giggled.

Manuel resigned from Parliament earlier this year.


8:58 - Other dignitaries already there include Jessie Duarte, Dali Tambo, Mac Maharaj, Helen Zille, Mmusi Maimane.


8:58 -



8:53 - Hundreds of people braved the chilly weather and made their way to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to witness President Jacob Zuma's inauguration on Saturday, Sapa reports.

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.

Read more here.


8:48 - 



Read more on: pretoria  |  elections 2014

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