Cape Town - Hugs, kisses, and handshakes were comfortably exchanged in the National Assembly chamber on Wednesday before MPs were sworn in.
Animated conversations took place between ANC MPs - more than 60% of whom are returning to the fifth Parliament after the elections.
Some of the ruling party's MPs walked over to MPs from the so-called new kids on the block - the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to welcome them to the House for the first time.
Former Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale
greeted EFF leader Julius Malema
warmly with a handshake and a pat on the back.
Malema, dressed in a red overall and matching hard hat, was flanked by Floyd Shivambu, and other EFF MPs wearing similar outfits.
Earlier, Shivambu said the overalls and hard hats were a deliberate demonstration of the party identifying with the country's working masses.
Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi
and his United Democratic Movement counterpart Bantu Holomisa
also made a point of embracing Malema and offering the first-time MP a few words of encouragement.
President Jacob Zuma
entered quietly and sat in the bench next to Cyril Ramaphosa
The two laughed and smiled at each other while in an animated discussion.
Both men stood as a hush fell over the chamber as Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng
's arrival was announced.
Mogoeng presided over the swearing in of MPs, which started at 10:30. The election of the National Assembly speaker followed.