Summary

  1. We’re now ending our live coverage of this historic day for South Africapublished at 18:44 14 June

    For the latest, with President Ramaphosa set to be re-elected for a second term, please go to our news story here.

    Thank you for joining us.

  2. Key images of the day so farpublished at 18:43 14 June

    All eyes were on the leader of the second-largest party John Steenhuisen shortly after he announced that his Democratic Alliance had done a deal with the ANC:

    eader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) John Steenhuisen speaks to media during a break in the first sitting of the National Assembly following elections at the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC) in Cape Town, South Africa June 14, 2024Image source, Reuters

    Earlier, the new MPs were sworn in, including President Cyril Ramaphosa. If - as expected - he is elected as president later, he would then step down as MP:

    outh African President Cyril Ramaphosa is sworn into the National Assembly during the first sitting of the National Assembly following elections, at the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC) in Cape Town, South Africa, June 14, 2024Image source, Reuters

    Also in parliament was Julius Malema - the leader of the EFF - wearing his trademark red boiler suit, the uniform of EFF MPs:

    Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema walks back to his seat after being sworn in to the National Assembly during the first sitting of the National Assembly following elections at the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC), in Cape Town, South Africa June 14, 2024Image source, Reuters

    Absent were the MPs from Jacob Zuma's MK party, who had boycotted parliament as the party disputes the election result.

  3. Zuma to address nation on Sundaypublished at 18:30 14 June

    Jacob Zuma, the former president and current leader of the MK party, is to address the nation on Sunday afternoon.

    His party boycotted today's historic sitting of parliament, alleging that the election was rigged. They have not provided any evidence to back this accusation.

    Zuma's speech is scheduled take place at 14:00 local time (13:00 BST) in Johannesburg.

  4. Can the coalition deal work?published at 18:20 14 June

    Barbara Plett Usher
    BBC News, Cape Town

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa casts his ballot in a vote for the speaker of parliament during the first sitting of the National Assembly following elections, at the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC) in Cape Town, South Africa June 14, 2024Image source, Reuters
    Image caption,

    President Cyril Ramaphosa has been voting for parliament's next speaker and deputy speaker - once these positions are filled, MPs will then vote on who becomes the next president

    Few doubt that negotiations since the 29 May elections have been difficult.

    Many in South Africa are now asking themselves one simple question - will it work?

    Fikilie Mbalula, the ANC's secretary-general, has stressed "gravitating to the centre" was the best response to a message from voters, who wanted parties to work together to bring stability to South Africa.

    But the political disagreements between the new coalition's two main parties are sometimes stark.

    Perhaps the biggest and most contentious issues are DA opposition to the ANC's national healthcare policy and its black economic empowerment programme.

    The DA charges the affirmative action measures are inefficient, do not reward meritocracy and enrich ANC cronies.

    However difficult compromise may prove, the announcement of a coalition will bring a sense of relief to many investors and those in the private sector, who might hope for a period of stability.

    Read more analysis here.

  5. A deal has been signed - what next?published at 18:04 14 June

    In his speech earlier, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen said the coalition government had completed "phase one" of its negotiations.

    This evening, MPs will vote for the president and the DA will back the ANC's Cyril Ramaphosa to remain in the top job.

    Ramaphosa is expected to win the vote and if he does, he will appoint a new cabinet from members of the new unity government, Steenhuisen said.

    The new government will then meet to "develop a detailed policy agenda". A statement of intent released earlier gave a basic overview of the coalition's priorities.

  6. DA deal shows we're not anti-white or anti-capital - ANCpublished at 17:37 14 June

    Nomvula Mokonyane sits with headphones on
    Image caption,

    Nomvula Mokonyane's party, the ANC, were forced into forming a coalition government

    The ANC is not anti-white or anti-capital - and the party's coalition deal with the Democratic Alliance (DA) proves that, ANC Deputy Secretary-General Nomvula Mokonyane has told the BBC.

    The DA has long been perceived as a party that promotes the interests of white, Asian and coloured (as people of mixed race are known in South Africa) people.

    The ANC has also historically favoured greater state intervention in the economy in contrast to the DA's more economically liberal approach.

    Despite the two parties having signed what has been called a "statement of intent" they still need to work out the key policy points.

  7. WATCH: DA leader confirms deal with ANCpublished at 17:21 14 June

    When the day began it was still not clear that the ANC and the second-largest party, the DA, had agreed to form a coalition, but by around 10:45 local time (09:45 BST) reports were coming out that an agreement had been signed.

    DA leader John Steenhuisen confirmed this in a speech at 13:15 local time, saying that his party would back Cyril Ramaphosa as president:

    Media caption,

    South Africa's address on a unity government

  8. Voting taking place for deputy speakerpublished at 17:05 14 June

    The ballot papers have now been prepared and voting booths have been set up in the National Assembly.

    The MPs are being called up in alphabetical order to make their choice in a secret ballot.

    There are two candidates:

    • Annelie Lotriet - DA
    • Vuyo Zungula - African Transformation Movement (ATM)

    The DA candidate is being put forward as part of the ANC-DA deal - the two parties agreed to share the posts of speaker and deputy speaker.

    The ATM is one of a group of parties opposed to the coalition.

  9. Zuma's MK likely to trouble ANC as official oppositionpublished at 16:54 14 June

    Farouk Chothia
    BBC News

    Former South African President and uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) leader Jacob Zuma delivers a speechImage source, AFP
    Image caption,

    Jacob Zuma's party may form an alliance with the radical Economic Freedom Fighters

    With the Democratic Alliance (DA) joining the government, the third-biggest party - ex-President Jacob Zuma’s MK - will now play the role of official opposition and be tasked with holding the executive to account.

    But Zuma is facing corruption charges over a 1999 arms deal and is barred from becoming an MP because of a 2021 prison sentence for contempt of court.

    His party is also plagued by infighting and boycotted today’s historic sitting of parliament. They allege that the poll was rigged in favour of the ANC and DA, but have not provided any evidence to back up this claim.

    If and when MK takes up its seats, the party is likely to form an alliance with another radical party - Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighter's (EFF) - to give the new coalition government a tough time.

    Expect them to revive demands that impeachment proceedings be instituted against President Cyril Ramaphosa.

    It emerged in 2022 that Ramaphosa stashed at least $580,000 (£458,000) in a sofa on his game farm. That money was later stolen by robbers.

    A panel of legal experts appointed by parliament recommended that impeachment proceedings be instituted against Ramaphosa, but the ANC used its then-parliamentary majority to block this.

    In the build up to the 29 May election, Zuma made the scandal a major issue as he campaigned for votes - and MK and the EFF are likely to demand a full-scale parliamentary investigation.

    Will the DA - which fought corruption from the opposition benches - join them or will it help the ANC in shielding Ramaphosa?

  10. Coalition deal was 'unavoidable' - ANC veteranpublished at 16:32 14 June

    BBC Newshour
    BBC World Service

    One ANC veteran has told the BBC that his party's deal with the Democratic Alliance (DA) was the only way forward.

    Penuell Maduna, who was a minister under both Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki presidencies, said: “We couldn’t have had any better deal unfortunately. A lot a compromise had to be indulged in, it was unavoidable... something had to be done to ensure the ANC will still remain the fulcrum of the polity.

    "Once all the participating parties understood that, the next thing was: how do you go about it?

    "The answer is not going to be easy, because you don’t want any of us to leave our political baggage at the doorstep and walk in as if we don’t have a history”.

    On the differences between each party's agenda, Maduna said several issues will need to be "confronted".

    One of these issues is land ownership - despite being a minority, white people own the vast majority of farmland held by individuals.

    “This goes back deep into our history, and we all have a collective responsibility to deal with it. You have masses of people not living in houses, but living in squalor," Maduna said.

  11. Two candidates nominated for deputy speakerpublished at 16:11 14 June

    As part of the ANC-DA deal, the two parties agreed to share the roles of speaker and deputy speaker between them.

    The full implications of that can now be seen in the nominations for deputy speaker.

    Two candidates put forward by MPs are:

    • Annelie Lotriet - DA
    • Vuyo Zungula - African Transformation Movement (ATM)

    The ATM is part of a group that is opposed to the coalition government.

    Proceedings have now been suspended to prepare the ballot papers.

  12. ANC's Thoko Didiza addresses parliament as speakerpublished at 16:00 14 June

    Newly elected Speaker of Parliament Thoko Didiza receives applause from African National Congress (ANC) members of parliament during the first sitting of the National Assembly following elections, at the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC), in Cape Town, South Africa June 14, 2024Image source, Reuters

    Thoko Didiza has just been elected as the speaker of parliament.

    "As a country and as a democratic state we have an opportunity to express our views... and that's why we have to elect and participate in such a process... but it does not mean that those who might have voted differently are not supportive of the work of the institution," she said in her first address to parliament.

    "The role of the speaker is that of ensuring that we conduct the debates within the rules in a manner that is fair and I commit that I will... do exactly that. And I also commit that I will work with all the parties to conduct the business in a manner that reflects the will of the people."

    Didiza had been serving as the minister for agriculture and land reform.

    She worked in Nelson Mandela's government and has held ministerial positions in the 30 years since.

    The previous Speaker, ANC's Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, resigned amid a corruption scandal.

  13. ANC's Thoko Didiza elected speakerpublished at 15:52 14 June
    Breaking

    The ANC's Thoko Didiza has been elected speaker of the National Assembly with 284 votes. She beat the EFF's Veronica Mente, who got 49 votes.

  14. Why do MPs vote for the president?published at 15:46 14 June

    South Africans do not directly elect the president, instead they vote for parties and the seats in the parliament are directly proportionate to the share of the vote each party received.

    The MPs then go on to vote for the president at the first sitting of parliament. That vote is expected to happen in the next few hours.

    Since the start of the democratic era 30 years ago, this vote has been a formality as the ANC always held more than 50% of the seats in the National Assembly.

    But this time it has had to find coalition partners as it did not get an absolute majority. A deal to back Cyril Ramaphosa for a second term was only agreed a few hours ago.

  15. What has happened so far today?published at 15:37 14 June

    It's now coming up to 16:40 in South Africa - if you've just joined us, here's what you've missed:

    • The ANC and its historical opponent, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has signed a deal to form a coalition government - other parties have also been invited to join what is being called a government of national unity
    • The DA said it will back Cyril Ramaphosa to remain as South Africa's leader - a vote on who becomes president will take place later today
    • The new unity government disclosed its priorities - such as creating jobs and tackling crime - in a "statement of intent"
    • Votes for the speaker of parliament are currently being counted
    • New MPs, elected in the 29 May poll, were sworn in this morning

  16. A remarkable step - ANC secretary-generalpublished at 15:17 14 June

    Media huddle around Fikile Mbalula

    The ANC has broken its silence on its power-sharing deal.

    Talking in a media huddle in parliament, Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula says the government of national unity is on track and that today's deal with opposition parties is a "remarkable step".

    He says: "We are engaging beyond this sitting on what needs to be done to constitute the government of national unity. Our work doesn't stop."

    He adds that the ANC has circulated the statement of intent on the unity government and is giving parties a chance to consider the document.

    Media huddle around Fikile Mbalula
  17. Parliament suspended while votes countedpublished at 14:58 14 June

    Nobuhle Simelane
    BBC News, Cape Town

    Parliament is now suspended while votes for the speaker of parliament are counted.

    Outside the chamber, some dignitaries, who have been invited by guests, are sitting in the dining hall.

    We have spotted party leaders of Action SA, led by Herman Mashaba.

    Action SA will have five MPs in the new National Assembly.

    The party declined to hold talks with the ANC and will not form part of the government of national unity.

    In the halls of parliament, some dignitaries are also watching proceedings from provincial legislatures, where voting for local leaders is taking place.

  18. Party representatives to observe vote count in last-minute changepublished at 14:51 14 June

    The EFF's protests have been heard - representatives from each party will go to the room where the votes are being counted, in order to observe the process.

    Following the EFF's complaints, the chief justice allowed a "limited time of discussion".

    EFF leader Julius Malema then weighed in saying: "No-one stands to lose anything out of observations of elections unless someone stands to do something that is undemocratic."

    The chief justice argued that removing ballot boxes from the room was in line with the law, adding: "If it is unconstitutional it would have to be set aside by the competent court."

    One MP argued against the EFF, saying rules on counting should not be changed last minute.

  19. EFF MP requests votes be counted in publicpublished at 14:31 14 June

    MPs have finished voting for the Speaker and the ballot boxes have been sealed.

    Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, an MP from the Economic Freedom Fighters, asks the chief justice why the boxes are being taken away for the vote count. He requests that the votes be counted in front of the cameras live-streaming the parliamentary session.

  20. Steenhuisen becomes the centre of attentionpublished at 14:09 14 June

    John Steenhuisen in a media scrumImage source, AFP

    We've just got these photos of the media scrum surrounding Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen after he confirmed that a deal with the ANC had been done.

    His centre-right party had been the centre of attention after the 29 May election as it emerged as the likeliest coalition partner for the ANC.

    People have been eager to hear what he had to say.

    In his speech earlier he said that the country was "now ready to write a new chapter that defies the odds once again".

    The ANC is yet to comment, but has announced a press conference later on Friday after the president has been elected.

    John Steenhuisen in a media scrumImage source, Getty Images