New President’s first appearance outside Parliament is as SANDF Commander-in-Chief
DEFENCE WEB / 19 FEBRUARY 2018 - 15.30 / KIM HELFRICH
Just elected South African president Cyril Ramaphosa was in Kimberley on Sunday to attend an inter-faith church service as part of the build-up to Wednesday’s Armed Forces Day event in Kimberley, at which he will also be present. Unconfirmed indications are President Ramaphosa will be in the Northern Cape capital early on Wednesday for at least part of Armed Forces Day, which the defence force has again spread over a five day period, and return to Cape Town in time for the 14h00 national budget.
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Speaking at the church service on Sunday – his first public appearance outside Parliament as president – Ramaphosa said Armed Forces Day 2018 carried “a profound and special meaning for our nation”. “It occurs at a time when our defence force has again confirmed the depth of the roots of our democracy and the flourishing of constitutional order. “They (the Armed Forces Day celebrations) occur as our nation celebrates the change of leadership in the governing party without any appetite for senseless bloodshed because our defence force is led by wise women and men who abide by the idea of the supremacy of the Constitution and the Rule of Law.”