With elective conferences held nationally and in five provinces over the past eight months, Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC has new leadership structures at most levels, which are largely in his corner, rather than in ousted leader Jacob Zuma’s. Over the weekend, the outcome of the two key conferences — in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal — were significant in that they showed that Zuma’s support has dropped dramatically, even in his home province. This was not unexpected — once ousted as president, Zuma lost his ability to hold on to support through patronage and use of state resources to buy loyalty and punish opponents. This was a key motive in his desire to remain in office until the natural conclusion of his term next year. In KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala was elected chair, unopposed. Zuma loyalists Willies Mchunu and Super Zuma were beaten to two key posts by Ramaphosa backers Mike Mabuyakhulu and Mdumiseni Ntuli. The make-up of the provincial executive committee was a mixed bag. In Gauteng, ...

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