Ramaphosa Wins Most Endorsements In S. Africa’s ANC Campaign

By Derek Alberts, Paul Vecchiato and Sam Mkokeli

South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa won endorsement from most African National Congress branches to succeed President Jacob Zuma as ruling party leader, giving him an edge — but not a guarantee of victory — in this month’s election.

Ramaphosa was nominated for the presidency of the ANC by 1,860 branches, while 1,330 backed his main rival Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, revised tallies released by the party’s nine provincial structures and collated by Bloomberg show. The branches will account for 90 percent of the 5,240 voting delegates at the ANC’s national elective conference that’s due to start Dec. 16, while the rest will come from the party’s leadership structures and youth, women and military veterans leagues.

The ANC’s new leader will be its presidential candidate in 2019 elections, which will bring an end to Zuma’s second term. While the branch nomination numbers are the best available indicator of who’s likely to win, they aren’t conclusive because some bigger branches can have more than one delegate and there’s no guarantee delegates will vote as instructed.

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“The fundamental fault line in the ANC process is that the individual delegates will vote in secret and so the numbers from the provincial general councils are only an indication,” Melanie Verwoerd, an independent political analyst and former ruling party lawmaker, said by phone from Cape Town. “There are a number of factors that will come into play to affect the individual delegates in their vote. This includes strong lobbying and even bribery.”
Party Rift

The election has caused deep rifts within the 105-year-old ANC, weighed on the rand and nation’s bonds and unnerved investors seeking political and policy clarity. The process of deciding who will get to attend and vote at the conference has been marred by court challenges, allegations of rigging and outbreaks of violence, casting doubt over whether the party will be able to stage a credible ballot.

Gwede Mantashe, the ANC’s secretary-general, said most nomination disputes have been resolved and the lawsuits that have been filed were ill-considered and will be forgotten once the elective conference is over.

“We have a national conference that is going ahead,” Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg on Monday. “We are working very hard to make sure that conference is successful and stable.”

Source: bloomberg.com

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