Prayers, dancing planned for Zuma's inauguration
Jacob Zuma will be sworn in as president of South Africa for the second time at the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Saturday.
Pomp and ceremony are expected at the inauguration, to be attended by 4 500 foreign and local dignitaries. A further 20 000 people are expected to watch from the south lawns.
The ceremony will start with interfaith prayers, followed by a recital of the Preamble to the Constitution of South Africa, before Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng swears in Zuma.
Zuma will take the oath of office before he signs the swearing-in certificate, followed by a congratulatory item by imbongi Zolani Mkiva. Zuma will then take the national salute as the South African Air Force executes a fly-past and the South African Defence Force performs a 21-gun salute before he addresses the nation.
After a rendition of the national anthem and a civilian fly-past by South African Airways, Zuma will address those on the south lawns, who had attended a concert by Kurt Darren and other artists. The day’s programme is expected to end just before 3pm.
Invited guests will be transported from the park-and-ride facility along Soutpansberg Road in Rietondale and arrive at the Union Buildings between 5am and 8am. Heads of state and government will arrive at 10.30am.
The army band will entertain guests at the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre from 5am, while the “cultural programme” will start at 8am. The programme will end at 11am when the formal ceremony begins. A choreographed show will take place between 12.30pm and 2pm, followed by an afternoon cultural programme until 4pm. Local musicians scheduled to perform include Selaelo Selota, Rebecca Malope, Mafikizolo, Zahara, the Mzansi Youth Choir, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Matthew Mole, and Claire Johnston.
The inauguration will be attended by heads of state and government, deputy heads, and former heads, from 47 countries, but no one from America, Britain, or Germany. Most of the heads of state are from African countries. There will be representatives from the Brics countries – a trade grouping comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Zuma’s ex-wife, African Union commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon and former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda will attend, as will Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille and Economic Freedom Fighters MP Magdalene Moonsamy. All EFF MPs have received invitations but it was unclear if leader Julius Malema would attend.
Fourteen eminent persons and 118 foreign ambassadors who live in South Africa will attend. It was unclear who the South African dignitaries in attendance would be.
On Saturday, Stanza Bopape Street and Government Avenue will be a traffic-free zone. There will be traffic control points on Soutpansberg and Hamilton, Stanza Bopape and Hamilton, Stanza Bopape and Gordon, and Soutpansberg and Gordon roads. Road closures in Pretoria will include Government Boulevard, Steve Biko, WF Nkomo and Wessels streets. A public park-and-ride will be available at the Tshwane Events Centre from 6am, while normal bus routes and public transport routes will be diverted.
“Residents living in affected streets are asked to choose the shortest route or closest entry and exit points for access ... Residents are required to produce recent municipal bills as part of proof of identity,” Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said.
“The inauguration lasts only a few hours and government kindly calls on residents in these areas to co-operate with authorities.”
Only 100 local and international journalists were accredited for the amphitheatre. More than 1 100 journalists applied for accreditation. – Sapa