Cyril Ramaphosa Elected ANC President

Cyril Ramaphosa Elected ANC President

Amid chaotic scenes in Johannesburg on Monday evening, Cyril Ramaphosa was elected president of the African National Congress (ANC) by a margin of 179 votes over Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former wife of the South African president President Jacob Zuma.

As ANC leader, Ramaphosa, a 65-year-old union leader who became businessman, is likely to become the country's next president after elections in 2019.

Mr Ramaphosa is in a strong position to become president in 2019 polls. Thousands of raucous Ramaphosa supporters sang and chanted in the conference hall as backers of the defeated candidate sat silent and stony-faced.

Zuma's presidency has been plagued by series of scandals and corruption allegations since 2009 when he first became the president, which has also caused a rift within the party and tainted the party's image home and overseas.

"If Ramaphosa does not recall Zuma, his hands will essentially be tied behind his back and Zuma will have one court case after another so as to keep plundering state assets and ensure that all the rotten-apple ministers are retained", Groenewald said. He is viewed positively by investors and markets for his potential as a reformer, though NDZ had promised "radical economic transformation". Government bonds also closed firmer before announcement that Ramaphosa had won the race.

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Though either presidential candidate could still prevail, Ramaphosa had the edge after the nominations were announced, with the backing of 1,469 ANC branches, compared to Dlamini-Zuma's 1,094.

"It stretches credibility to imagine that Ramaphosa could win the ANC leadership without striking deals with key power brokers who seek to maintain a patronage-based political system".

Outgoing President Zuma's second and final term as party leader has ended after a scandal-ridden tenure that has seen a plummet in the popularity of Mandela's liberation movement.

He has pledged to introduce a minimum wage for workers and will consider privatising some of South Africa's state-owned conglomerates.

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