In a departure from the
tradition of holding the inauguration at the Union Buildings, SA’s sixth
democratically elected president Cyril Ramaphosa’s official swearing in ceremony
took place at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
Dubbed the people’s inauguration,
the theme ‘Together Celebrating Democracy: Renewal and Growth for a Better
South Africa’, aimed to reinforce that "everyone has a role to play in building
a brighter tomorrow", says the Presidency.
READ: Ramaphosa’s inauguration on Africa Day is ‘significant’
In his speech Ramaphosa emphasised
that South Africans "must build on the country’s achievements and work even
harder to tackle poverty, inequality and unemployment. See News24’s full
From the flags with rainbow colours to the lyrical sounds of the 11 South African
official languages heard all around the stadium, it was a celebration
that aimed to be inclusive and pay homage to this ‘Rainbow Nation’, albeit South Africa’s weary moniker, but the enthusiasm of the day was nostalgically
reminiscent of the 1994 Madiba-era.
Members of the SA Army, Air Force, Navy,
Military Service and the National Ceremonial Guard formed part of the
battalion, ushered in the President to the sound of the National anthem and a
National carrier, South African
Airways (SAA) completed what has become a signature flypast, together with four SAAF helicopters and a display by the Silver Falcons, during the inauguration. One of the pilots on board a Silver Falcon capture the footage below. Executed in a uniform formation and collaboration with SAAF, it was performed with
two of SAA’s biggest aircraft in its fleet - the Airbus A340-600.
The crew that
operated the flypast are especially trained and accredited to perform
manoeuvres of this nature – and volunteered their time on the day. It was reminiscent
of that special and historic “Madiba moment” when SAA did a flypast more than
two decades ago at the 1995 Rugby World Cup finals.
“We believe the
symbolism of the flypast was as much a sign of pride by the airline and the
peoples of South Africa as it was an effort aimed at continuously fostering the
spirit of Ubuntu and unity nationwide,” says SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali.