• 15:20
  • 20.10.2021
South Africa's ANC to elect new leader

South Africa's ANC to elect new leader

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The African National Congress is set to announce the successor to President Jacob Zuma as party leader when ANC delegates elect a new figurehead for the movement that has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid.

The vote on Sunday is crucial because whoever emerges at the helm of the 105-year-old liberation movement that has electoral dominance in Africa's most industrialised economy is likely to become South Africa's next president after elections in 2019.

After lengthy delays on the first day of the ANC conference on Saturday, the leadership contest was still too close to call, with most grassroots ANC members backing Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa or Zuma's preferred candidate, his former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, 68.
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Ramaphosa, 65, got the majority of nominations from party branches scattered across the country. But the complexity of the leadership race means it is far from certain he will win when the votes are finally counted.

The election is perhaps the most pivotal moment for the ANC in its 23 years of power. Scandal and corruption allegations have tainted Zuma's presidency and the party that launched black majority rule under Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela is now deeply divided, its image tarnished at home and abroad.

Party spokesman Zizi Kodwa said the ANC hoped to declare a winner on Sunday, but this depended "on getting through the credentials process," or vetting the eligibility of the delegates.
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How the roughly 6000 delegates will vote may also be subject to vote-buying and intimidation - which are widely acknowledged to have swayed previous leadership contests.
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