Jacob Zuma opts not to attend Ramaphosa’s inauguration

Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

The former president hinted this week that he’s too busy worrying about his legal troubles to make it to the stadium.

The Citizen reliably established on Saturday morning that former president Jacob Zuma has decided to snub Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration as president.

Zuma spent most of this week in court in Pietermaritzburg fighting his corruption trial going to trial. The Citizen understands that he has remained in KwaZulu-Natal, at his Nkandla home.

Former presidents Kgalema Motlanthe and Thabo Mbeki have made an appearance. FW de Klerk, the last apartheid-era president, arrived to boos.

Zuma had earlier hinted outside court that he might not attend the ceremony at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane today because of his ongoing legal troubles. It’s well known that the relationship between him and his successor is tense, though Zuma did campaign extensively in his home province for the ANC ahead of the May 8 elections.

Ramaphosa himself famously opted not to attend Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as the first democratic president in 1994, widely agreed to be because of Ramaphosa’s then unhappiness at being passed over to become deputy president in favour of Thabo Mbeki.

Ramaphosa subsequently said in an interview that he later realised there had been wisdom in the decision to choose an older and more experienced politician to be the republic’s second in command at the time.

Mandela had asked him to focus on writing the new constitution, and Ramaphosa later went into business to become a billionaire after seeing out his term as ANC secretary-general.

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