Jacob Zuma was sworn in as South Africa's fourth president since the end of apartheid on Saturday, overcoming corruption scandals and criminal charges.
In his speech, the new president promised not to deviate from venerable former President Nelson Mandela's legacy of rebuilding the nation post-apartheid in a spirit of unity and reconciliation. He said, "this is a moment of renewal."
But he also acknowledged the difficult economic times in which he takes office.
Thousands of South Africans watched the inauguration from the lawns of the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Nearly 30 heads of state attended the ceremony. Mr. Mandela was among the dignitaries at the inauguration, though it had not been certain ahead of time he would attend. The 90-year-old former political prisoner appeared frail.
Mr. Zuma's populist message of job creation, land reform and rural development, health and education reform, and poverty reduction appealed to many South Africans.