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All Eyes on President Ramaphosa’s Inauguration Ceremony in Pretoria

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Inside Politics Reporter

As the lawns of the Union Buildings start to fill up with guests including more than 18 heads of States and other luminaries, to witness the inauguration of President Cyril Ramaphosa as the head of the 7th Administration, the audience broke into song and dance.

Men and women dressed up to the nines in different colourful textures –  some in the traditional African attire while others chose the conservative route by wearing suits and skirts – created a colourful picture of unity among all the races mingling together to witness this historical moment for South Africa.

The ceremony started in earnest with an opening address by International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor, followed by ANC Deputy-Secretary Nomvula Mokonyane.

This was followed by a performance from the Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra and later the Interfaith prayers will be led by the South African Defence Force Chaplain General Brigadier General Ernest Thabo Musweu.

The swearing-in will be conducted by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo just after 11h00 in the presence of international guests and heads of state as well as representatives of foreign governments as Ramaphosa takes his oath of office for his second term.

This will be followed by congratulatory poems by Ntombhi Ya Mutsonga, a praise singer for President Ramaphosa. Afterwhich Ramaphosa is expected to make his address.

Countries that are represented at a high level at the inauguration include the Kingdom of eSwatini and Kingdom of Lesotho; the Republics of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Angola and Tanzania; the Republic of Uganda; the People’s Republic of China; the Arab Republic of Egypt; the State of Palestine and the Republic of Cuba.

Local artists are also expected to take to the stage on the South Lawns of the Union Buildings where they will showcase South Africa’s cultural diversity through their respective performance.

The organisers are promising a production that they say will feature a combination of music genres and other cultural and artistic performances with a crossover appeal to reflect the nation’s achievement in the past three decades.

But the one spectacular feat to look out for is the South African National Defence Force when it performs its ceremonial elements of the inauguration as a demonstration to Ramaphosa, its commander-in-chief.

The ceremony will include, a 21-gun salute, a salute flight by the South African Air Force, inspection of a SANDF battalion, a battalion march past and a massed flypast, according to the programme.

The SANDF has been hard at work with its preparation over the past few days. In a video circulated on social media, Lieutenant Colonel Zanele Vayeke, an A109 commander says she will be leader of the helicopter unit during the inauguration.

“Part of the fly past we are going to have three helicopters doing a salute fly past to honour the president. They will be carrying three national flags. In front there will be the A109 leading the formation followed by the BK117 and the link,” says Vayeke who revealed that in 2019 she was the helicopter planner but this time around she will be leading from the air.

 Some roads in and around the Union Building will be closed and motorists are advised to check the routes before heading to the city.

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