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New president vows to 'turn tide' on corruption

Published:Sunday | February 18, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Cyril Ramaphosa being sworn in as the South African President.


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a message of optimism and renewal last Friday in his first state of the nation address, saying it's time for South Africans to put discord behind them and that the country will "turn the tide" on corruption in state institutions this year.

Ramaphosa's address capped a dramatic week in which he was elected by ruling party lawmakers following the resignation of predecessor Jacob Zuma, whose tenure was marked by corruption scandals.

"We should put behind us the era of diminishing trust in public institutions and weakened confidence in our country's public leaders," said Ramaphosa, who was Zuma's deputy before becoming South Africa's fifth president since the end of white minority rule in 1994.

Ramaphosa, 65, faces the hard task of rooting out corruption that flourished in both state enterprises and the private sector under Zuma, implicating figures in the ruling African National Congress party that he now leads.