Jacob Zuma sworn in as S. Africa president

PRETORIA, South Africa, May 9 (UPI) -- African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma was sworn in as South Africa's new president Saturday in Pretoria, officials said.

Zuma, 67, took the oath of office at the Union Buildings in front of 5,000 invited guests, which included former South African presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, the BBC reported.


Around 30 heads of state and government were also in attendance, with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi among them as thousands of Zuma's supporters watched the ceremony on TV screens placed on the lawns below the president's office, the British broadcaster said.

Zuma was officially elected by the South African parliament Wednesday after the ANC won general elections last month.

Cold weather and a torrential downpour greeted travelers who came to Pretoria for the swearing-in ceremonies. But, the BBC reported the rainy weather didn't dampen the spirits of Zuma's backers, who planned to stay for a huge concert and parties planned into the night.

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