Missing 68 Votes: Ace Magashule Retains Position After Recount

African National Congress (ANC) newly elected top-six member, Ace Magashule, has retained his position as the governing party’s Secretary General following a dispute over 68 votes that were not included in the final tally for the party’s top six leadership elections.

Recall that Magashule’s closest rival, Senzo Mchunu, on Monday, lost the top post as a result of the missing 68 votes – which many believe could have won him a spot in the ANC’s top six.

This issue triggered Mchunu’s supporters and some disgruntled ANC members calling for an accountability on the missing votes and for the internal election body to do a recount.

During the recount, however, the electoral body was forced to discredit some votes while Mchunu was awarded only just 15 votes (out of the 68 votes). Despite this, ACE Magashule was able to retain his position by nine votes. Before the recount, Magashule secured 2360 votes while Mchunu received 2363.

Following this development, there are fears that ANC disgruntled delegates from the Vhembe district in Limpopo and the Abaqulusi district in KwaZulu-Natal could likely launch a legal challenge against the decision.

Meanwhile, delegates at the ANC’s elective conference have concluded voting for 80 National Executive Committee members and the result is expected to be announced soon, according to outgoing party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.

In other news, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said the issue of not enough women being elected to the top six will be addressed when NEC members are announced.

“It’s unfortunate that only one woman was elected to the top six. But I can assure you that as we elect the national executive committee in terms of the ANC constitution, the leadership must be made up of at least 50% women. So, that it will be adjusted during the NEC elections,” he said.

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Radebe stated this while addressing members of the Progressive Business Forum at the last breakfast briefing of the conference.

Here are the ANC’s newly elected top-six members

1. Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa became deputy president after his election to the position in the ANC in 2012. Before that, he was the chair of the national planning commission. The now current  South African has huge support from both the public and corporations and is seen as a credible politician with corruption said to be entrenched deep in the structures of the party and country.

2. David Mabuza

The former Premier of Mpumalanga has risen to the post of Deputy President, thanks to his province having the second largest number of voting delegates at the ANC conference.

3. Gwede Mantashe

The new National Chairperson who has in the past held the position of secretary general of the ANC.

4. Ace Magashule

Magashule, the current secretary general, has been the chairperson of the ANC in the Free State for 23 years. He will play an important role in furthering ANC policies.

5. Jessie Duarte

Duarte, the current deputy secretary general who has held the post since 2012, has been part of the ANC since 1979 when she was just 26. She played a key role in building the Women’s League and worked as a personal assistant to Nelson Mandela after his release from prison.

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6. Paul Mashatile

Mashatile is the ANC’s new treasurer-general, thanks to the support he got from the current Deputy President David Mabuza. He is also notably an outspoken critic of former President Zuma.

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