South Africa’s CyrilRamaphosa takes lead inANC president race

South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, 65,

has a strong lead in the race to become the new leader

of the governing African National Congress.

He emerged as frontrunner after ANC party branches

chose between him and his rival Nkosazana Dlamini-

Zuma.

She is a prominent politician and the ex-wife of scandal-

prone President Jacob Zuma, who steps down this

month.

The winner of the party race will be well placed to

become the country’s new president in 2019.

But BBC reports the final vote is likely to be close.

The ANC party branches will account for 90% of the

5,240 voting delegates at the ANC’s party conference

which starts on 16 December, South Africa’s News24

reports.

However, some branches get more than one vote as the

bigger the branch, the more delegates it can send to the

conference.

Mr Ramaphosa, who has been highly critical of state

corruption and is backed by the business community

and unions, took the lead in five of the country’s nine

provinces.

But Mrs Dlamini-Zuma, a former African Union

Commission chairwoman with the endorsement of her

ex-husband to succeed him as ANC president, has the

lead in the two provinces with the most ANC delegates

– KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

The ANC Women’s League and ANC Youth League,

which have officially endorsed 68-year-old Mrs Dlamini-

Zuma, are also likely to give her their nominations,

according to News24.

Some in the ANC are warning of legal challenges and

even vote rigging, as a deeply divided party tries to find

a new path, and new energy, after 23 years in power,

our reporter says.

The leader of the ANC automatically becomes the

party’s candidate for president of the country.

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