Relief: A teary-eyed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Nasrec Expo Centre on Monday after winning a bruising race for the ANC presidency that exposed deep rifts in the governing party. Picture: MASI LOSI
Relief: A teary-eyed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Nasrec Expo Centre on Monday after winning a bruising race for the ANC presidency that exposed deep rifts in the governing party. Picture: MASI LOSI

Cyril Ramaphosa is the new president of the ANC, but its top six leadership is split down the middle between the two opposing factions, which could result in paralysis.

Ramaphosa’s camp on Monday night reeled from the shock election of Free State chairman Ace Magashule as secretary-general, beating their own candidate, Senzo Mchunu for the powerful post by a mere 24 votes.

Business Day understands that Mchunu had emerged as top candidate for the position after the first count, but national executive committee (NEC) member Nomvula Mokonyane demanded a recount of the  votes for secretary-general.

The Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma faction had first asked for a recount for the position of party president, but that result did not change.

Reliable sources, who wished to remain anonymous, said the faction had demanded a recount for the secretary-general position twice, after which Magashule emerged as winner by 24 votes.

The Ramaphosa camp was still grappling with how to deal with this development on Monday night, but had not yet spoken to their observers, who witnessed the count and had yet to meet to discuss the way forward.

Magashule has been sanctioned by the courts twice for irregularities in running his provincial ANC elective conferences — by the Constitutional Court in 2012 and by the High Court in Bloemfontein, which set aside his election as provincial chairman of the ANC in the Free State a day before the national elective conference.

The election of the 80-member NEC will now be critical in breaking the deadlock among the top six, with three elected candidates coming from the Dlamini-Zuma camp — including deputy president David Mabuza, Magashule and deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte. However, Dlamini-Zuma backers on Monday night accused Mabuza of betraying them as delegates from his province had voted largely in favour of Ramaphosa.

Sources in the Dlamini-Zuma camp said they believed Mabuza had made a "deal"
with Ramaphosa.

However, sources in the Ramaphosa camp said this was untrue and that Mabuza’s election was as a result of talks with other provincial chairmen supporting Ramaphosa, including Gauteng leader Paul Mashatile.

As predicted, the ANC elective race for the presidency came down to the wire.

Ramaphosa was voted ANC president with 2,440 votes to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s 2,261 — a 179-vote difference between the two. The race for deputy president was not such a close one with Mabuza beating Lindiwe Sisulu with a vote difference of 379.

With his 2,538 votes Mabuza received the most votes among the entire top six leadership, including Ramaphosa.

Duarte retained her position as deputy secretary-general
and former secretary-general Gwede Mantashe returned to the top leadership as national chairman.

Magashule and Duarte combined will head the ANC secretariat — both have been linked to the controversial
Gupta family. Mashatile was elected treasurer-general with 2,517 votes to Maite Nkoana-Mashabane’s 2,178 votes.
Immediately after the announcement, the rand was quoted at R12.57/$, from a previous close of R12.96.

The currency, which had enjoyed a "Ramaphosa rally" in the run-up to the elective conference, strengthened considerably in the hour before the announcement. From a level of R12.80/$ at 5.32pm, it reached a best level of R12.52
in the moments ahead of the announcement shortly before 7pm.

The ANC is set to vote for its NEC over the next few days and discuss policy proposals from its policy conference.

The ANC's new top six leaders have been named at the party's elective conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg. Cyril Ramaphosa was named the new president of the party. Subscribe to TimesLIVE here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TimesLive

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