Ramaphosa is new ANC president

South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Cyril Ramaphosa was Monday elected President of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) after beating Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in a tight race held at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg.

Mr Ramaphosa received 2,440 votes while Dr Dlamini-Zuma got 2,261. Mr Ramaphosa takes over from President Jacob Zuma, who has completed his two terms in office.

Mr David Mabuza will deputise Mr Ramaphosa after beating Ms Lindiwe Sisulu. He garnered 2,538 while Ms Sisulu got 2,159 votes. 

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) immediately welcomed Mr Ramaphosa’s victory after the announcement.

“The election of Ramaphosa as the President of the ANC signifies a new era for Africa’s oldest liberation movement, an era which we so much look forward to being part of through the alliance as an affiliate of Cosatu,” said Mr Simon Mathe, the General Secretary.

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Mr Mathe said the victory was not only a win for democracy, but a win for workers who have long been marginalised. 

“SAMWU is convinced that the new collective leadership would unify the people’s movement particularly as we approach the 2019 general elections. We look forward to campaigning for the ANC so to ensure an overwhelmingly majority, as guided by our 2015 congress resolutions.” 

Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe takes over as new national chairperson after amassing 2,418 votes, ahead of his challenger Nathi Mthethwa’s 2,269.

The new ANC Secretary-General will be Mr Ace Magashule, who narrowly beat Mr Senzo Mchunu. Mr Magashule received 2,360 votes while Mr Mchunu managed 2,336.

Ms Jesse Duarte retained her position as Deputy Secretary-General after amassing 2,474. Her opponent Zingiswa Losi, received 2,213.

Mr Paul Mashatile won the race for Treasurer General ahead of Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Mr Mashatile got 2,517 votes while Nkona-Mashabane received 2,178.


Mr Ramaphosa had been earmarked to succeed President Nelson Mandela in 1999, but was unsuccessful.

He left politics to focus on business, only to return in 2012 to be elected Deputy President to President Jacob Zuma.

In 1982, Mr Ramaphosa founded the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which grew to 300,000 members and led massive mine strikes in 1987 that shook the foundations of white rule.

He rose to global prominence as the ANC's lead negotiator in 1993, with his contribution seen as a major factor in the success of the talks and the resulting peaceful democratic handover.

He then led the group that wrote the country's new constitution.

Mr Ramaphosa will lead the ANC into the 2019 General Election.


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