Ramaphosa is now the president of the ANC and is set to become the next president of the country should the ANC win the general elections in 2019.
Ramaphosa beat Dlamini-Zuma by about 200 votes and secured the presidency by a slight mmargin. Ramaphosa was supported by ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete who expressed her backing for him late on Saturday night. Mbete’s show of support was surprising given she had been an avid backer of President Jacob Zuma.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa took to Twitter to state he would vote for Ramaphosa. He said that Ramaphosa would “inspire hope” for the party.
“Am casting my vote for comrade Ramaphosa for ANC president, whatever happens I trust he will restore confidence and inspire hope. It is early hours but it’s worth waiting,” Kodwa tweeted.
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu also publicly expressed his vote for Zuma, saying that he had voted for an incorruptible leader.
Prior to the conference, Ramaphosa had clinched five provinces including Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape while Dlamini-Zuma won North West and Free State.
The elective conference has been plagued by a variety of setbacks after the beginning was delayed by the failure to adopt a credentials report. The report was finally adopted on Sunday evening. Voting got underway on Monday with the winner announced in the afternoon. Former ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said there were a few dirty tricks which were employed.
“The run up to this conference was particularly difficult. We saw many things that have happened to all individual people who are standing for elections. I always remind people that history has a tendency of repeating itself. You know when [former South African Prime Minister Hendrik] Verwoed was assassinated in parliament, his second-in-command was Ben Schoeman. Ben Schoeman never became the successor because the securocrats dirtied him, discredited him, and he gave up the contest, and they gave us BJ Voster,” Mantashe said.
“And I saw signs of those dirty tricks as we were coming into this conference on everyone who was contending and contesting any position, and that is what we said politics is about.”