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South Africa's ANC nominates candidates to replace Zuma

19 December, 2017, 11:08 | Author: Kristen Ingram
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South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) has selected Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma as the party's leader.

The elections are crucial as the new ANC president is also likely to become the country's next president after elections in 2019.

A total of 4,776 delegates began casting their ballots in the early hours of Monday, the ANC said, to select between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Zuma's preferred candidate, his ex-wife and former cabinet minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Mr Ramaphosa was widely considered the sensible choice in the election. Thousands of raucous Ramaphosa supporters sang and chanted in the conference hall as backers of the defeated candidate sat silent and stony-faced.

"South Africa's chance for huge change is here and Ramaphosa is in a position now to prove to the electorate and to investors that he can bring that change", said Simon Quijano-Evans, strategist at Legal & General Investment Management in London.

A veteran in the battle to help end apartheid, which saw the country ruled by the white minority, Ramaphosa is now one of the country's most successful businessmen and has been duly supported by the business community. His reign has been hit with allegations of scandal and corruption which has seen the party of Nelson Mandela's liberation movement plummet in popularity among South Africans.

Despite being part of Zuma's administration, the 65-year-old Mr Ramaphosa has promoted himself recently as a reformer who will steer South Africa away from the scandals that have bedevilled the ANC.

A victor had been expected to be announced on Sunday, but owing to long delays, the vote had been pushed back repeatedly.

"I hope you will cooperate with the new leadership.as we move to the 2019 elections", Baleka Mbete, party chairwoman, asked hopefully of delegates. Keeping the ANC together has been a key talking point at the gathering.

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