- Ramaphosa faces numerous challenges, among them rebuilding the nation's stagnating economy. The rand, South Africa's currency, rose against the dollar to its strongest point in three years in reaction to Zuma's resignation.
South Africa's parliament formally chose Cyril Ramaphosa as the country's new president Thursday.
Ramaphosa was elected without a vote after being the only candidate nominated in the parliament in Cape Town, chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng told assembled lawmakers. After the chief justice's announcement ANC lawmakers broke out into song and dance in celebration.
Ramaphosa's election came hours after Jacob Zuma resigned "with immediate effect" just days after leaders of the ruling African National Congress decided to recall him earlier this week, exhausted by his nine-year tenure marred by numerous allegations of corruption and subsequent economic stagnation.
Ramaphosa faces numerous challenges, among them rebuilding the nation's stagnating economy. The rand, South Africa's currency, rose against the dollar to its strongest point in three years in reaction to Zuma's resignation.
Ramaphosa, who served as deputy president under Zuma, was in line to succeed Zuma after his election as ANC president in December. But Thursday's session was not without drama, as the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party staged a walkout shortly before the vote. EFF leader Julius Malema said the party does not want to legitimize Ramaphosa's election, and instead wants parliament dissolved and early elections held.
Zuma tried to delay his resignation until June, but ANC leaders threatened to hold a no-confidence vote against him on Thursday, if he did not resign immediately.
Among the allegations against Zuma were charges that he allowed the powerful Gupta family to influence Cabinet appointments and that he used some $20 million in public funds for improvements at his private estate.
Zuma's resignation came in the aftermath of an early morning police raid on the Gupta family's compound in an upscale neighborhood in Johannesburg, which led to the arrests of at least eight people, including a member of the Gupta family.