South Africa's President left office because of a corruption scandal

Posted February 17, 2018

Ramaphosa's election as president, which was unopposed in the parliament, has prompted a wave of optimism among South Africans hungry for change after nine years of economic stagnation and corruption scandals.

The parliament on Thursday elected Ramaphosa as the country's new president, replacing 75-year-old Jacob Zuma, who resigned on Wednesday night. "It is a new dawn that..."

"We must understand that tax morality is dependent on an implicit contract between taxpayers and government that state spending provides value for money, and is free from corruption", the President said. Zuma denies all wrongdoing.

Ramaphosa said the outcome of the inquiry would restore confidence in public institutions among South Africans. Police announced on Thursday that Ajay Gupta, one of the family's three brothers, was a fugitive from justice and should turn himself in. Ramaphosa has promised to fight graft, though he faces the hard task of rejuvenating a ruling party whose leaders had supported Zuma for years before finally turning against him.

The new president will also deliver the postponed state of the nation address on Friday evening.

Mr Ramaphosa now faces the daunting challenge of reviving the economy, healing deep divisions within the ANC and responding to populist trends in the party and country, as frustrations grow over rampant unemployment and poverty. But he said land reform should be "implemented in a way that increases agricultural production and improves food security".

Ramaphosa said mining had potential for growth and jobs.

He said government would be calling on banks to help with the expropriation project.