This day in history: Thabo Mbeki becomes SA's 2nd democratic president

This day in history: Thabo Mbeki becomes SA's 2nd democratic president

- On this day in 1999, Thabo Mbeki was sworn in as the President of South Africa

- Mbeki succeeded the late former head of state, Nelson Mandela, to become the second democratic leader

- The inauguration drew a large crowd that cheered as Mbeki became the SA president

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16 June marks several important historic events. On Tuesday, South Africans celebrate Youth Day in remembrance of the 1976 Soweto Uprising.

However, the day also marks another historic event. On this day in 1999, Thabo Mbeki was sworn in as the President of the Republic of South Africa.

The inauguration ceremony was hosted at the Union Buildings and it drew a massive crowd that applauded and sang as Mbeki was sworn in.

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Mbeki succeeded Nelson Mandela - who made history when he become the first democratic president of South Africa.

He was unanimously appointed by the new parliament on 14 June and his inauguration took place two days later after Madiba stepped down.

According to SA History Online, the theme of the ceremony was Faranani: Towards a New Century.

Thousands of people attended the inauguration while the rest of the country witnessed Mbeki becoming the second democratic leader on televisions and big screens.

His inauguration came only two days before Mbeki celebrated his 57th birthday. The ceremony also acted as a farewell to Mandela and Mbeki paid tribute to the father of the nation in his speech.

He was applauded the "generation that pulled our country out of the abyss and placed it on the pedestal of hope, on which it rests today".

This day in history: Thabo Mbeki becomes SA's 2nd democratic president

Before becoming the president, Mbeki was sworn in as Nelson Mandela's deputy. Photo credit: Louise Gubb/Getty Images.
Source: Getty Images

Earlier, Briefly.co.za took a look at the history behind the national Youth Day. The day marks a celebrations of the bravery shown by the young people in Soweto during the previous regime.

We took a look at the Soweto Uprising and why Hector Pieterson became an icon in the struggle against the minority rule.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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