It was a dawn of a new beginning for the governing African National Congress (ANC) as they elect a set of new leaders with the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as the party’s new President
Ramaphosa who merged winner of the just concluded electoral conference with the total vote of about 2,440 votes against his major contender Dlamini Zuma’s 2,261 was officially declared the party’s 14th president.
Ramaphosa ran his campaign on the slate of clean and fair government, first became Zuma’s deputy after the 2012 election. At the time, he was wooed by President Jacob Zuma’s camp to give the slate “credibility” but prior to this time, he was the chair of the National Planning Commission that produced the National Development Plan, the country’s blueprint for growth towards 2030.
His campaign to take over as ANC President received strong backings from businesses, the media and even civil society. Though he path to successfully present a government free of corruption may be rough, South Africans are of high expectations that his ascension into power as the leader of the ruling party will help return the country its lost glory.
The ANC Top Six include:
- Cyril Ramaphosa – President
- David Mabuza – Deputy President
- Ace Magashule – Secretary-General
- Gwede Mantashe – Party National Chairperson
- Jessie Duarte – Deputy Secretary-General
- Paul Mashatile – Treasury-General
Among the new ANC top six are three staunch Zuma supporters in the persons of Ace Magashule, David Mabuza and Jessie Duarte.
Ace Magashule who is also the Free State premier, will serve as secretary-general after winning 2,360 votes versus Senzo Mchunu with 2,336 votes. Magashule has been the ANC chairperson in the Free State for 23 years. He is a staunch Zuma supporter. He has been implicated in the #GuptaLeaks for redirecting R30 million that was intended for a Free State dairy project, through one of the Gupta-related companies to pay for the wedding of Vega Gupta and Aakash Jahajgarhia in 2013. His role as the new ANC Secretary-General is important furthering ANC policies land reform and Zuma’s radical economic transformation.
David Mabuza, on the other hand, was elected deputy president of the ANC. He emerged winner with a total vote of about 2,538 votes compared to Lindiwe Sisulu’s 2,159. The man who refers to himself as “The Cat” is a strong supporter of Jacob Zuma since 2007 and was thus rewarded with the premiership of Mpumalanga in 2009 which according to critics, he has been running like his private firm.
However, he is largely seen as one of those who has a high understanding of the ANC party values and still has good relations with the alliance members.
As for Jessie Duarte who won the Deputy secretary-general seat with a total vote of 2,474 as against Zingiswa Losi’s 2,213, she has played a central role in building the ANC Women’s League – which is also a strong supporter of Jacob Zuma – and worked as a personal assistant to Nelson Mandela after his release from prison. She has been part of the ANC since she was recruited by Albertina Sisulu in 1979 and in 1994, she became Gauteng’s MEC for safety and security.
Jessie Duarte has also served as the ANC deputy secretary general since 2012 and as a staunch Zuma supporter, she has not failed to criticise the media for daring to talk about the president.
Gwede Mantashe, ANC’s former Secretary-General is now the new national chairperson having obtained 2,418 votes to Nathi Mthethwa’s 2,269. Mantashe has been serving as ANC Sec-Gen for ten years and has been one of the well-respected members of the ANC. He also has a very good understanding of the party and still has good relations with the alliance members, which would be beneficial to the party ahead of the 2019 general election.
The 56-year-old Paul Mashatile becomes the new ANC treasurer general and a member of the new ANC top six after obtaining 2,517 votes to Maite Nkoana-Mashabane’s 2,178. He has been a member of Executive Council for Human Settlements and Co-operative Governance in the Gauteng legislature, Gauteng provincial chairperson, Minister of Arts and Culture, Premier of Gauteng. Mashatile is the master of branch politics. His inclusion in the New ANC top six will be of great benefit to the governing party as well.