S Africa's struggling ANC elects Ramaphosa as new head
Johannesburg: South African deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was narrowly elected head of the ruling ANC party, winning a bruising race that exposed deep rifts within the organisation that led the fight against apartheid.
Thousands of raucous Ramaphosa supporters sang and chanted in the conference hall as rival backers of defeated candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma appeared dejected yesterday.
Ramaphosa won 2,440 votes to Dlamini-Zuma's 2,261.
"We declare comrade Cyril Ramaphosa the new president of the African National Congress," an official told party delegates in Johannesburg.
The victory puts Ramaphosa in line to succeed President Jacob Zuma, whose reign has been plagued by corruption scandals, economic slowdown and growing anger at the once- omnipotent party. The vote was a long and acrimonious process. Delegates who had travelled from around South Africa cast their ballots after repeated delays caused by disputes over who was entitled to vote. President Zuma was seen as backing his former wife Dlamini-Zuma, allegedly to secure protection from prosecution.