The proceedings started with the Chief Justice Magoeng Magoeng swearing in the four hundred strong members of parliament. He instructed the members to take their oaths of allegiance to the South African Constitution and faithfulness to the Republic. The first group fittingly comprised Jacob Zuma, Cyril Ramaposa, Jeff Radebe and Naledi Pandor among others while the next group included the serving minister of finance, who is widely expected to retain his portfolio. The attention grabbing, overall clad twenty-six members of the Economic Freedom Fighters were also sworn in in their own groups.
The next order of business in the Legislative House was the appointment of the Speaker. This pitted the African National Congress national chairperson, Baleka Mbete against Nosimo Balindlela who was representing the official opposition, the Democratic Alliance. From the 366 votes cast, there were 18 invalid votes leaving 88 for Balindlela and handing an easy victory for Mbete with 260 votes.
The appointment of the President of the Republic was then carried out. However, there was a hitch in the process as a member of the opposition Democratic Alliance, James Selfie, rose to challenge Zuma’s nomination on the grounds that he was not a fit and proper person, mainly based on the fact that he had not adequately addressed the Public Protector’s two major reports. This was however dismissed without costs by the Chief Justice and Zuma’s nomination was confirmed and he was appointed the head of state. Jacob Zuma is set to be sworn in on Saturday.