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After once failing to succeed Mandela, Ramaphosa wins ANC leadership race

Dec 18, 2017
After once failing to succeed Mandela, Ramaphosa wins ANC leadership race

In a tightly contested race to succeed President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, beat his rival, Dr Nkosazana-Dlamini Zuma, at the 54th National Congress of the African Elective National Congress (ANC) to become the new President.

The election was held at NASREC in Johannesburg.

After failing get the nomination to succeed the late former President, Nelson Mandela, in 1999, Ramaphosa left union politics to become a businessman and later emerged as one of South Africa's wealthiest men.

He returned to politics in 2014, when he became Zuma's Deputy.

Ahead of the election, he had widely been seen as a better candidate than Dlamini-Zuma, whom many feared, as Zuma's ex-wife, had the wrong credentials. Talk about the curse of a name.

That is even though, Dlamini-Zuma having proved herself as a capable politician when she served the country as a Minister, before going on to become the Chairperson of the African Union (AU), where she had a successful tenure.

Ramaphosa himself was not without blemish as he was widely fingered by the opposition, particularly the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which accused him of having had a hand in the infamous Marikana Massacre in 2012. 

34 miners were killed and scores injured when police tried to break up a violent protest that had adversely affected Lonmin operations.

He was once criticised for spending R20 million on a prized Buffalo in a country with high levels of poverty. However, Ramaphosa has since emerged as a successful farmer and breeder. 

So, many favoured Ramaphosa for President over another Zuma. In his favour, was also the age-old ANC tradition of the Deputy President succeeding the President.

Given his business background, he is also seen as more acceptable to investors and business than Dlamini-Zuma, which was another boost as South Africa's seeks to find ways to revive its stagnating economy.

Voting and results

More than 4 700 delegates cast their ballots for the top leadership of the party.

The results announcement, which was made on Monday evening, indicates that Ramaphosa won the election by 2 440 votes, while Dlamini Zuma received 2 261 votes.

The position of Deputy President went to David Mabuza, who received 2 538 votes, while Lindiwe Sisulu received 2 159 votes for the same position.

Gwede Mantashe, who was named the National Chairperson, garnered 2 418 votes, while Nathi Mthethwa received 2 269 votes for the same position.

The Secretary General position went to Ace Magashule, who received 2 360 votes, while Senzo Mchunu got 2 336 votes.

Jessie Duarte retained her position as the Deputy Secretary General with 2 474 votes, while Zingiswa Losi received 2 213 votes.

The Treasury General position went to Paul Mashatile with 2 517 votes, while Maite Nkoana-Mashabane garnered 2 178 votes.

New ANC top six

  • President, Cyril Ramaphosa;
  • Deputy President, David Mabuza;
  • National Chairperson, Gwede Mantashe;
  • Secretary-General, Ace Magashule;
  • Deputy Secretary Genera, Jessie Duarte; and
  • Treasurer General, Paul Mashatile.