Jacob Zuma has been sworn in as the new President of South Africa. The 67-year-old took the oath of office in front of 30,000 people at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the official seat of the South African government. Former President Nelson Mandela was there to give his blessing to the new regime.
Like Mandela, Zuma served a long jail sentence on Robben Island under the old apartheid regime and if the new leader is a controversial figure whose image has been tarnished by rape and corruption charges, he also projects a charisma earned through a lifetime of activism. Zuma, an ethnic Zulu, pledged to champion the interests of the poor, but he has also been keen not to frighten foreign investors during what is likely to be a difficult mandate – South Africa is facing up to its first recession in 17 years.