South Africa ruling party's fight for its future kicks off

Sergio Conner
December 18, 2017

South Africa's ruling ANC prepared on Monday to announce the results of its presidential race between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and his only rival, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The party founded by Nelson Mandela has ruled since the end of apartheid in Africa's most industrialized economy, but has faced a series of scandals and corruption allegations involving Zuma, the ANC's current leader.

Mr. Zuma, who will cease to be party leader this week but whose term as the country's president does not end until 2019, will leave his successor a number of problems, but one above all: a once-heroic liberation party that has now become associated with graft, cronyism and incompetence and has been losing core supporters.

But Zuma said "greed is posing a serious threat" to the party and pointed out warnings that the ANC could implode.

"When we are done with those people, counting will proceed manually".

He said Zuma would be "most welcome" in the league after he steps down as president.

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"The rand is considerably stronger than where it was last week", said IG Markets currency strategist Shaun Murison.

Ramaphosa drew the majority of nominations from party branches scattered across the country.

Ms Dlamini-Zuma, a doctor, former government minister and ally of Mr Zuma, has promised to bring more black South Africans into the fold through "radical economic transformation". It is not clear if Ramaphosa as the ANC's new leader will call on Zuma to resign as the country's president, which the party has the authority to do. A total of 4,776 delegates will vote.

Others were barred by court orders from attending the leadership contest of the African National Congress (ANC).

"This idea that the power is in the branches is a ruse by leaders to hoodwink society into thinking they are impartial and make branches think they have control over their own destiny", Mnguni said.

"Anyone who wins we are going to support and rally behind", said Sasekani Manzini, a spokeswoman for the ANC in Mpumalanga province.

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