South Africa: ‘Humbled and honoured,’ says Motlanthe
Posted by African Press International on September 27, 2008
Johannesburg (South Africa) – President-elect Kgalema Motlanthe says he is deeply humbled and honoured by the faith and confidence shown in him by Members of Parliament in electing him as President of the Republic.
“I am deeply humbled and honoured by the faith and confidence that the Members of this Assembly have in me,” he told the National Assembly on Thursday, accepting his election as President-elect of South Africa.
He said he undertakes the responsibility of President elect “cognisant of the duties and responsibilities that are attached to this high office and the expectations the people of this nation rightly have of the head of state.”
President-elect Motlanthe was this afternoon elected President of South Africa and he takes over Mr Thabo Mbeki after the ANC decided to recall him last weekend. He will serve as president until elections next year.
Chief Justice Pius Langa announced in the National Assembly that Mr Motlanthe had won in an outright majority of votes following a secret ballot by members, to emerge as the third post-Apartheid President in the country.
He said Mr Motlanthe had earned 269 votes, while the Democratic Alliance’s candidate Mr Joe Seremane got 50 votes.
Chief Justice Pius Langa said there were 360 votes casts while 41 ballot papers were spoilt.
All political parties in the National Assembly congratulated Mr Motlanthe, and were unanimous in their hope that he would accelerate service delivery to millions of poor South Africans.
“We hope you will put the lives ordinary of South African first ahead of party politics,” said Independent Democrats President Patricia de Lille.
“We need a leader that will give all South African’s hope and lead us to a better life,” she said.
The Democratic Alliance said it would hold him to statements made earlier committing himself to the independence of the judiciary should he be elected president.
“The challenge for Minister Motlanthe is to rise above the ruling party’s internal power play and govern in the best interests of the people of South Africa between now and the next election.”
IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said he had no doubt Mr Motlanthe would meet the requirements of his job.
“I have no doubt that President elect Mr Motlanthe is more than equal to this task possessing, as his does, integrity, an instinctive sense of the common good and fair society, and an abiding respect for the institutions of the Republic,” Mr Buthelezi told parliamentarians.
Mr Motlanthe will now proceed to Tuynhuys, were he will be sworn in as President of the Republic. He is then expected to make a statement at 5pm in the National Assembly.
API/Source.BuaNews (South Africa) – September 25, 2008.