Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI
Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI

The election of new ANC leadership in two important provinces at the weekend was a marked boost for President Cyril Ramaphosa, tightening his grip on the party, which has been highly contested by opponents from the camp of former president Jacob Zuma.

The leadership elected in Gauteng and the party’s largest province, KwaZulu-Natal, was a blow to Ramaphosa’s opponents. In both, delegates went into the conference sharply divided, with the vote resulting in a mix of leaders from both sides taking the top six positions. Significantly, though, several key pro-Zuma candidates did not make it into the top positions.

At the KwaZulu-Natal provincial conference, which concluded on Saturday, Ramaphosa and his allies got a leg up with the election of Mike Mabuyakhulu, who backed Ramaphosa in the run-up to the national ANC conference at Nasrec, as deputy chairman, and Mdumiseni Ntuli as secretary.

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