Coming to you live, from the Electoral Commission of SA’s results operations centre in Pretoria, was a boxing match of a different kind. In the red corner is ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula, a former ANC Youth League president, former sports minister and former police minister. The crowd would give it up for the self-styled "Mr Fear Fokkol", coming all the way from the Free State.

And in the blue corner, also from the Free State, is ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, a former premier and former ANC provincial chair. Cue a round of applause for the Free State strongman.The brawl emanated from Mbalula’s remarks just hours after the election, that the ANC would have sunk to 40% and lost the election had Cyril Ramaphosa not won the ANC presidential race at Nasrec in 2017.

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