Jacob Zuma Sworn In as South African Prez

ANC chief promises to fix economy, work for racial reconciliation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2009 7:47 AM CDT
A man holds South African flags at the Union Building before South African President Jacob Zuma's swearing in ceremony in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, May 9, 2009. Jacob Zuma took the presidential...   (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
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(Newser) – Jacob Zuma was sworn in as South Africa's new president in front of thousands of supporters in Pretoria today, the BBC reports. The African National Congress leader, whose election victory capped a huge comeback after accusations of rape and corruption dogged him for years, said today marks a "moment of renewal" for the country.

Zuma pledged to continue the work his predecessors Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, both in attendance, had done towards racial conciliation. Thousands of high-spirited Zuma supporters had gathered in the capital from before dawn. "We are rejoicing. He's the people's leader," one said. "He knows the poor of this country." Torrential rain preceded the ceremony, an auspicious sign in Zulu culture.