President Cyril Ramaphposa has been re-elected as ANC president at the party’s 55th National Conference in Nasrec. Ramaphosa beat Zweli Mkhize with 2476 votes to 1897 votes.
The new deputy ANC president is Paul Mashatile. Voting for the top seven in the highly contested positions was concluded on Sunday morning.
The votes were counted manually. Ramaphosa, who was up for re-election, was elected as president in 2017 when he trumped former president Jacob Zuma.
His chief rival at this weekend’s conference was former health minister and KZN premier Zweli Mkhize. Mkhize resigned from the department of health in August 2021 after he was implicated in a R140m Digital Vibes scandal which marred his political career.
TimesLIVE reported that Mkhize mounted a vicious campaign to challenge the incumbent Ramaphosa despite the former KwaZulu-Natal premier having been endorsed by a single province against Ramaphosa’s eight.
A day before the conference Ramaphosa, who had been nominated by more than 2,000 branches, appeared set to return to the position but things took a dramatic turn at the opening of the conference when Mkhize’s numbers suddenly surged upwards.
As the conference proceeded Mkhize managed to turn previously staunch Ramaphosa provinces to his side. Limpopo, the first province to endorse Ramaphosa, has seemingly ditched him and opted to throw its weight behind Mkhize.
North West has followed suit, so has a sizeable chunk of Gauteng, one of Ramaphosa’s strong support bases. Ramaphosa’s camp felt shock waves on the morning of voting day when Limpopo chair Stan Mathabatha, his North West counterpart Nono Maloyi and Gauteng secretary Thembinkosi (TK) Nciza appeared at a headcount of delegates supporting Mkhize.
Gauteng leaders said they had decided to ditch Ramaphosa after his lobbyists continued to reject their deputy president candidate Paul Mashatile.
North West joined Mkhize because their political posture is identical to Gauteng.
This is a developing story.