It will be a staged reconciliation moment when the newly elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa presides over the first meeting of the newly installed top six of the party’s national executive committee (NEC).
None of the two camps managed to pack the highest structure of the NEC strictly with its own preferred candidates. In fact, the two opposing camps managed to elevate candidates associated with their campaign in equal measures.
The ruling party will no doubt spin the outcome by emphasizing that this is what they meant when they said the ANC will be ultimate winner in this conference.
Just 179 votes separated the winner Ramaphosa and his opponent, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Three delegates wanted nothing to do with both candidates and expressed their feelings by spoiling their voting paper. Four people did not bother pitching to cast their ballots.
The margin was slightly wider in the high stakes contest between human settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza. Mabuza trounced Sisulu courtesy of 379 votes, he received 2538 nods while Sisulu’s final tally stood at 2159.
Seven delegates voted with their conscience when deciding they wanted nothing to do with both candidates and spoiled their ballots. Seven delegates opted to stay out of contest for the two positions. When the results were announced, Ramaphosa looked sufficiently concerned.
Former secretary-general Gwede Mantashe will now chair the Top Six as well as the NEC and conferences of the organisation as he managed to command 2418 voters versus 2269 delegates who voted for arts and culture minister, Nathi Mthethwa. Seven delegates spoiled their votes while fourteen delegates could not be bothered to cast ballots.
Luthuli House’s operations will be overseen on full-time basis by the new secretary-general and Free State premier Ace Magashule. In a tussle with former KZN premier Senzo Mchunu, the former received 2336 votes and the latter 2360 affirming ballots. There were four spoiled votes and eight abstentions.
Magashule will be deputised in the day-to-day running of the Africa’s oldest liberation movement by the incumbent Jessie Duarte. She defeated Zingiswa Losi, a Cosatu NEC member, with 2474 votes. Losi received 2213 votes with four spoiled votes and seventeen comrades not interested in partaking.
The Treasurer General position, effectively the head of finance for the organisation, went to Gauteng MEC and provincial chairperson Paul Mashatile. The margin between him and international relations minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane was 378, making it the widest by far. Six ballots were spoiled and seven delegates abstained.