politics

Reelected Ramaphosa Sworn In as South African President

In the May 29 elections, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) failed to win a majority, and the party was forced to form a coalition with the Democratic Alliance (DA) and other parties. Last week, lawmakers reelected Cyril Ramaphosa as the head of state. Reelected South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in on Wednesday, vowing to observe and maintain the basic and all other laws of the republic. “In the presence of everyone assembled here and in full realization of the high calling I assume as President of the Republic of South Africa, I, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa and will obey, observe, uphold, and maintain the Constitution and all other laws of the Republic,” Ramaphosa said during the inauguration ceremony. Several heads of state, such as Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Angola’s Joao Lourenco, the Republic of the Congo’s Denis Sassou Nguesso, and Eswatini’s King Mswati III, attended the inauguration. During the ceremony, the president welcomed “the beginning of a new era” as the country sees transformation in its government. “The formation of a government of national unity is a moment of profound significance. It is the beginning of a new era,” Ramaphosa noted. “The voters of South Africa did not give any single party the full mandate to govern our country alone. They have directed us to work together to address their plight and realize their aspirations.” Ramaphosa is expected to announce his cabinet soon as discussions with coalition members continue. The ANC faced a tough challenge in May’s legislative election from the DA, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) of Julius Malema, and the MK party of ex-President Jacob Zuma, who was barred from running by the top court. The MK party boycotted the ceremony, labeling it a “farce.” However, Ramaphosa emphasized that voters are “impatient with political bickering” and urged parties to prioritize the “needs and aspirations” of the people and “work together for the country’s sake.” “We must reject every attempt to divide or distract us, to sow doubt or cynicism, or to turn us against one another,” he said in an apparent, veiled dig at his opponents. As leaders, as political parties, we are called upon to work in partnership towards a growing economy, better jobs, safer communities, and a government that works for its people,” he urged. According to the official results, the ANC, which won 159 seats, is followed by the DA with 87 parliamentary seats, the MK party with 58 seats, and the EFF party with 39 seats. The remaining parliamentary seats were received by 14 other parties.

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Russia Helps Zimbabwe Become Self-Sufficient, President Mnangagwa States

Exclusive From June 5 to 8, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) was held in St. Petersburg, which was attended by Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He took part in the SPIEF plenary session and also held negotiations with the Russian leader. Sputnik Africa had the honor of interviewing Mnangagwa on the sidelines of the forum. Russia assists Zimbabwe in achieving self-sufficiency, the president of the African country, Emmerson Mnangagwa, told Sputnik Africa in an exclusive interview conducted on the sidelines of the SPIEF 2024. The countries actively interact in the field of science and technology. “[…] We focus on cooperation in science and technology. We are sending dozens and dozens, perhaps hundreds and hundreds of students to study science and technology in the Russian Federation. Because we feel that every developed country is on the basis of embracing science and technology,” Zimbabwe’s president said. Moreover, one of the main areas of cooperation between the countries is agriculture. “They [Russia] are supporting us with fertilizer so that we become self-sufficient. Zimbabwe has been self-sufficient in food security. But the biggest constraint we have is access to the appropriate fertilizer for our region. And that we can get from the Russian Federation,” he said. In 2023, Russia donated 11,000 tonnes of potash fertilizers to Zimbabwe, which helped ensure the country’s food security. In 2024, 25,000 tonnes of Russian wheat were supplied free of charge as part of the implementation of decisions taken following the results of the second Russia-Africa Summit. At the same time, the Uralchem Group of companies donated 23,000 tonnes of mineral fertilizers. At the SPIEF, Mnangagwa thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for the transfer of fertilizers to Harare. “Let me on behalf of my country, my people, and myself personally express my deepest gratitude for your continued support for our sanctioned country,” he said. Speaking of sanctions, the African president noted that they have failed to “stifle” the Zimbabwean economy; on the contrary, they have even helped it develop as the country has shifted its focus on internal problems to modernize the economy. “We are doing better in the entire region in our economic growth year by year because of sanctions. So we are also anxious that the Americans should not remove their sanctions so that we continue focusing and doing better. Those countries without sanctions in our region are not doing as good as we are doing,” he pointed out. Discussing the economy, Mnangagwa noted that his country is “on the correct path” toward making Zimbabwe an industrial hub. “Well, it is us who must focus on what we need to industrialize our country. Zimbabwe is now at the threshold to do that because we have a thriving mining industry that needs access to global capital as well as global skills. And that is happening. Then also, Zimbabwe has a highly qualified, highly educated workforce, which is complementary to the question of workforce in modern countries,” he explained. Economic progress has helped Zimbabwe meet the conditions for joining BRICS. “I’ve discussed this with my dear brother, president Putin, that I think we are now ready to join because we now have a solid currency in Zimbabwe. And our economy is now based on solid fundamentals of economics. […] So we now know that we fulfil the requirements to qualify to join the BRICS,” Mnangagwa said. Zimbabwe have been subject to currency fluctuations, and therefore it was decided to introduce a currency that would be backed by the country’s gold reserves. “We are suffering from the fluctuations of an incurred currency. So one time, you know, the inflation could fly in our face. […] We decided that we need a currency, a solid currency based on our gold reserves. […] And that’s what we have done. So our currency is now called ZIG, which is Zimbabwe Gold,” the head of state added. Aside from that, Zimbabwe’s leader revealed to Sputnik Africa that the upcoming summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will show whether the country is ready to host the Russia-Africa Summit. “We ourselves designated to hold a SADC summit, this is about 16 countries in our region, in August this year. That will tell us whether we are now grown up enough to host a conference of that nature,” Mnangagwa said. The president noted that if the country sees that it is not yet ready to host the summit, it would aim to achieve the required level of infrastructure development over the next few years. Perhaps, if the Russia-Africa summit is held in Zimbabwe, the nation will use the new city that it is building in preparation for the SADC summit. “So we are in a difficult time right now, we hardly sleep. We are creating a new city… Of course, we are not such cool guys as those who gathered here [at the SPIEF]. We do not have infrastructure that was built a long time ago. [But] we are growing. I like what we can achieve the infrastructure needed to hold a regional conference,” Mnangagwa said. After the SADC summit, the country will have infrastructure that can be used for holding major events. In particular, Mnangagwa proposed holding a Russia-Zimbabwe summit and invited Putin to the country. Last but not least, talking about Russia, the African leader pointed out that Russia adheres to the principle of brotherhood, not a “horse and rider” relationship. “The difference I see is that the Russian approach is of comradeship, brotherhood, not horse and rider. So this is why we favor an approach of friendship, of equality, of brotherhood rather than of principle and the student. The horse rider is more cruel, but that of teacher and student,” Mnangagwa concluded, wishing success to Sputnik news agency.

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Observation Mission From Russia Arrives in South Africa Ahead of Elections

South Africa’s national and provincial elections are coming up soon. Voting will open to South Africans on Wednesday. The country’s citizens residing overseas already began voting last Friday. A Russian observation mission arrives in South Africa prior to the elections, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the delegation and the chairman of the Commission on Protecting State Sovereignty of Russia’s Civic Chamber, told Sputnik. “[The commission] includes representatives of the Civic Chamber of Russia. We are accredited by the independent election commission of South Africa as international observers and have received a mandate to monitor the voting process. There is a lot of work to be done,” Rogov said. According to him, a meeting between the Russian delegation and the representative of the President of South Africa in BRICS has already taken place. An observation mission from the African Union already arrived in the country last week. Earlier this month, the Southern African Development Community also announced its intention to form its own monitoring commission. Last Sunday, the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa is fully prepared to hold “free” and “fair” general elections, adding that security forces have carried out the necessary work to prevent unrest during the upcoming elections.

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DR Congo’s Deputy PM of Economy Elected as Speaker of Lower House of Parliament, Reports Say

On Sunday, a coup attempt was foiled in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, the country’s military reported. Among the organizers of the coup bid were reportedly several US citizens and a British citizen. Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Deputy Prime Minister of Economy, Vital Kamerhe, was elected as a speaker of the country’s lower house of parliament, media said. The vote, which was scheduled for May 18, took place on Monday. Kamerhe received 371 of the 401 votes cast by the members of the parliament. The election of the speaker paves the way for the DR Congo to appoint a government, a task that has been pending since the December 2023 presidential election where the country’s President Felix Tshisekedi secured a second term. On Sunday, the security forces of the Congo reported that they successfully thwarted a coup attempt and defended Kamerhe’s residence in from an attack. According to Kamerhe’s spokesperson, Michel Moto Muhima, two guards lost their lives during the assault.

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Coup Attempt Crushed by DRC Defense Forces in Kinshasa, Army States

Three people were killed in a shootout in the capital early on Sunday between armed men in military uniform and a senior politician’s security guards, according to local media. The Congolese army said on Sunday it thwarted a coup d’etat attempt in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the perpetrators have been detained. “The coup attempt was thwarted on Sunday by defense and security forces in the capital, Kinshasa,” the army’s spokesman, General Sylvain Ekenge, said in a televised speech. “The army assures that the situation is under control and asks the people of Kinshasa to calmly go about their business.” The politician targeted was Vital Kamerhe, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, a candidate for the post of President of the National Assembly. Two of his guards as well as one attacker died, according to Kamerhe’s spokesperson, Michel Moto. “The Honorable Vital Kamerhe and his family are safe and sound; their security has been reinforced,” Moto wrote on X. Kamerhe was announced as a contender for the National Assembly, the DRC’s principal legislative assembly, president on April 23. The attackers were reportedly wearing uniforms with Zairean flags. In videos surfacing on social media, they claimed that they “want to change the situation in the management of the republic.” According to unconfirmed local media reports, the leader of the attackers was Christian Malanga, who was known as a staunch government critic, and an active member of the Congolese diaspora in the US. The Republican Guard was reportedly stationed on Chachi Boulevard. Military vehicles were positioned in the area of the Palais de la Nation (Palace of the Nation). A security meeting has reportedly been called. The country’s previous coup attempt happened in February 2022. President Felix Tshisekedi, who was then serving as chairperson of the 35th African Union summit in Addis Ababa, had to leave the event prematurely to deal with the situation in the DRC. Later, presidential spokesman Tharcisse Kasongo Mwema said that the government had “serious evidence” of a national security threat and that “no attempt to destabilize our democratic institutions will be tolerated.” Presidential security adviser Francois Beya was apprehended by the Congo’s National Intelligence Agency on allegations of subverting national security, as reported by human rights campaigner Georges Kampiamba.

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