ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa. REUTERS
ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa. REUTERS

On Wednesday, newly elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa called on delegates to "protect the integrity" of the ruling party’s 54th national conference and not let it "degenerate into controversy and huge legal suits that will nullify the result" of the election of the party’s top six.

Ramaphosa said this in a leaked video sent to journalists attending the conference at Nasrec where he addressed delegates.

He believes some delegates might be unhappy with the election results‚ but believes it creates a "beachhead to be able to start the process of re-instilling the values of our movement in the ANC and hoping people will embrace that".

Ramaphosa was referring to the possible legal action against the party after the uncertainty over the election of new ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.

Supporters of Senzo Mchunu‚ an ally of Ramaphosa‚ raised concern that Magashule’s election was irregular. Magashule beat Mchunu by 24 votes in the contest for the position of secretary-general. Mchunu supporters cited an irregular second count — then there was the issue of 68 missing ballots.

The bulk of the missing votes came from delegates said to be from Mchunu-allied branches‚ increasing speculation that these votes could easily overturn the 24-vote difference that separated the two candidates.

Mchunu’s backers indicated on Tuesday that they were considering legal options, too. Ramaphosa and Mchunu backers were preparing to raise the issue in the plenary session. However‚ Magashule and Zuma backers were prepared to fight back.

A formal announcement on the matter is expected at a later stage.

Additional reporting by Natasha Marrian and Genevieve Quintal

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