Mbeki sworn in for second term

2004-04-27 10:45
Pretoria - President Thabo Mbeki was sworn in for a second term Tuesday as South Africa celebrated its first decade of multi-racial rule with a military air display and a massive open-air concert.

Raising his right hand, Mbeki pledged faithfulness to the republic and obedience to the constitution before a crowd of tens of thousands, including presidents and monarchs from around the world.

From early in the morning, flag-waving crowds gathered for the festivities at the Union Buildings.

The presidents of Zimbabwe, Congo and Nigeria, and the kings of Lesotho and Swaziland, were among representatives from some 100 countries who attended.

Most countries outside Africa sent lower-level delegations. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott represented Britain, and Alphonso Jackson, secretary of housing and urban development, led a delegation from the United States.

The celebrations included 21-gun salute, a military air display, a gala dinner and a concert on the lawns of the Union buildings featuring some 200 of the country's top musicians. South African embassies were also hosting celebrations around the world.

Those unable to attend could watch a live broadcast on 100 big-screen televisions set up around the country.

Security was high for the occasion and police cordoned off more than 40 streets around the venue.


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