PIET RAMPEDI and AKANI CHAUKE
African Times News Digital Edition | www.africantimesnews.co.za | @AfricanTimesSA
CYRIL Ramaphosa has emerged as the winner of the hotly contested ANC presidency, paving the way for him to succeed Jacob Zuma as the country’s president in 2019.
He defeated his rival, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma by 2240 to 2261 votes – a margin of 179 votes – in what appears to have been a split vote between the two ANC factions who took three of the party’s top six positions each.
Ramaphosa will be deputised by David Mabuza, a Dlamini-Zuma ally who polled 2531 votes against
Lindiwe Sisusulu’s 2150. Sisulu was Ramaphosa’s running mate.
Gwede Mantashe, who was the party’s outgoing secretary-general, beat Nathi Mthethwa to
emerge as new chairperson for ANC.
Mantashe polled 2418 against Mthethwa’s 2269 votes.
In a shock victory that stunned the Ramaphosa camp, Free State Premier Ace Magashule becomes the new ANC secretary-general, taking taking over the
post left by Mantashe. Magashule is a staunch Dlamini-Zuma supporter who publicly opposed Ramaphosa’s presidential ambition.
He saw off former KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu, a front runner who eventually emerged as the biggest loser alongside his home province and the ANC Women’s League. Kwazulu-Natal, the biggest ANC province, had pushed for Dlamini-Zuma and Mthethwa to take over as president and chairman, respectively. Both hail from the province.
Jessie Duarte retained her deputy secretary general’s position after polling 2474 votes against Cosatu Second Deputy Secretary Zingisa Losi’s 2213.
There were some wild jubilation upon the victory of Duarte, another close ally of Dlamini-Zuma.
The position of treasurer-general went to Gauteng Premier Paul Mashatile, who garnered 2513 votes against international relations minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane who received 2178.
The announcement was delayed for several hours – putting delegates, the media and the country on tenderhooks – after both camps disputed the results and demanded recounts.
An excited Ramaphosa’s elder sister, Ivy, who resides in Chiawela, Soweto, praised her brother for being a national leader, who always put his country first.
“We knew from childhood Cyril was always a leader with leadership qualities. He does not discriminate people based on tribe, race, colour or creed,” said Ivy Ramaphosa.
Several other Soweto residents chanted: “State capture is over! Corruption will vanish! A new beginning, new opportunities for all South Africans,” the singers chanted.
The Zuma camp that supported losing contender Dlamini-Zuma looked dejected, but embraced the election outcome.
– CAJ News