Jacob Zuma sworn in as South African president for second term

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Pretoria, May 24: Jacob Zuma was on Saturday sworn-in as South Africa's President for a second consecutive term and vowed to spearhead a "radical social economic transformation" to eradicate corruption that has plagued Africa's second largest economy.

In his first address to the nation after taking oath, President Zuma said his second term was the beginning of the second phase in the transition from apartheid. "Today marks the beginning of the second phase of our transition from apartheid to a national democratic society," he said.

"We will move more into industrialisation and strengthening the role of the state in the economy," Zuma said. He said last year the government did a review on the state of the country and found that though most lives had improved, millions were still unemployed and living in poverty.

To remedy the situation, he said in the next five years of his term, the government would put in place "radical social economic transformation" policies. Zuma said the government would also concentrate on better execution of land restitution and job employment especially for the youth.

"To achieve this, the performance of the state has to improve. We have to eradicate corruption and inefficiencies in the public service. The road ahead is long and hard but we are determined to succeed," Zuma said. The swearing-in ceremony started with inter-faith prayers and then Zuma recited the oath in front of former President Thabo Mbeki before signing the swearing-in certificate.

Many Heads of State and Government, including Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan, were among the 4,500 guests at the ceremony. However, no leaders from Europe or North America were present. Zuma also received the National Salute to the sound of the national anthem, a 21-gun salute, a flight by four helicopters of the South African Air Force (SAAF), a massed fly past by aircraft of the SAAF and a display by the Silver Falcons. After the oath, a traditional praise singer Zolani Mkiva chanted out Zuma's virtues.

The African National Congress (ANC) won a commanding victory in the May 7 general election, the first since anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela's death. Zuma's first term was dogged by controversies, including claims of corruption, unemployment and a sluggish economic growth.

PTI

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