Celebrations as Cyril Ramaphosa bashes Julius Malema in South Africa’s presidential election

EFF leader Julius Malema

South Africa’s long-dominant African National Congress (ANC) has agreed to share power with its largest rival, the Democratic Alliance (DA), in a new government of national unity. This historic accord, reached on Friday, has paved the way for President Cyril Ramaphosa to secure a second term in office.

The deal between these two sharply antagonistic parties marks the most significant political shift in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. The ANC, which had previously enjoyed an unwavering majority, lost its dominance in the May 29th election, prompting intense negotiations with other parties over the composition of the new government.

After two weeks of tense deliberations, the ANC and DA have decided to put aside their differences and work together to address the pressing issues facing the country, including persistently high levels of poverty, inequality, and crime, as well as the ongoing challenges of power outages and corruption.

Ramaphosa won convincingly in Parliament against a surprise candidate who was also nominated — Julius Malema of the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters. Ramaphosa received 283 votes to Malema’s 44 in the 400-member house.

In a speech to parliament, the 71-year-old President Ramaphosa expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to continue serving the nation, describing the coming government as an era of hope and inclusivity. “That a number of parties that had opposed each other have decided to work together to deliver this result has given a new birth, a new era to our country,” he remarked.

The DA’s leader, John Steenhuisen, echoed Ramaphosa’s sentiments, stating, “Today is a historic day for our country, and I think it is the start of a new chapter … of us putting our country, its interests and its future first.”

This unprecedented power-sharing arrangement is a stark departure from the ANC’s decades-long dominance in South African politics. It represents a significant step towards a more inclusive and responsive government, as the country seeks to address its complex challenges and chart a new course for the future.

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