Cyril Ramaphosa has been elected president of South Africa by a parliamentary vote less than 16 hours after the resignation of his rival Jacob Zuma, following days of defiant refusal to leave office. The appointment of Ramaphosa – who, as deputy president, became interim leader immediately after Zuma’s late-night resignation on Wednesday – as head of state was announced by South Africa’s chief justice in Cape Town who presided over the vote.
Ramaphosa, wearing a dark suit and red tie, sat quietly while lawmakers from the ruling African National Congress stood, clapped and sang in celebration. He was elected unopposed. The ANC has a substantial majority in parliament and the vote was effectively a formality. Though deeply divided, the ANC has already closed ranks after the crisis of recent days and has rallied around Ramaphosa, 65,