Cyril Ramaphosa is South Africa’s new president.
He was an activist as a student and went on to work closely with Nelson Mandela.
Ramaphosa is now charged with rooting out the corruption that brought down his predecessor.
Ramaphosa faces an uphill battle in revitalising growth, creating jobs and stamping out a culture of graft in a nation still polarised by race and inequality more than two decades after the end of white-minority rule.
Still, Zuma’s departure late on Wednesday provided evidence of the strength of South Africa’s democratic institutions, from the courts to the media and the Constitution. Ramaphosa, in brief remarks to parliament ahead of his first state of the nation address expected on Friday, said he would work hard “not to disappoint the people of South Africa”.
“The issues that you have raised, issues that have to do with corruption, issues of how we can straighten out our state-owned enterprises and how we deal with state capture (influence-peddling) are issues that are on our radar screen,” he said.
Ramaphosa, 65, was elected unopposed as Zuma’s permanent successor by parliament, and sworn into the post by South African Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, who had earlier read out the former President’s resignation letter.
South Africa’s main stock market index jumped by as much as 5 per cent on Thursday, heading for its biggest one-day gain in more than three years, on hopes that Zuma’s exit will pave the way for new leaders to quicken the pace of economic growth.