Moments before the results

2017-12-24 06:04
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

On day three of the ANC’s 54th national elective conference, moments before the new leaders were announced, the house was a bundle of nerves.

The hall was holding its collective breath and getting dizzy from loss of air.

Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa was grinning as if he was not already a millionaire and about to become one. Someone walked on stage with a tea tray and placed it in front of him. I could not help but think he probably should not drink it, unless he was certain the water was from one of the boreholes – he probably has one – on one of his farms.

It was a two-horse race between the cattle-loving multilingual capitalist and the former chairperson of the African Union commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Battle lines were drawn between Dlamini-Zuma, labelled “Ndlovukazi” by the Zuma dynasty, and Ramaphosa who is rumoured to be a woman abuser by the ANC Women’s League.

Presidential hopeful turned deputy president hopeful Lindiwe Sisulu stared into the distance, seemingly already aware of her fate. Her brother Max, a former National Assembly speaker – approached her to give her a hug.

Outgoing president Jacob Zuma was huddled with his close allies, minister of energy David Mahlobo and secretary-general hopeful Ace Magashule.

The ANC’s media branch, which had punted Dlamini-Zuma, broke the news: Ramaphosa is the new ANC president, so it must be true. Former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema tweeted “it’s a boy”.

National Assembly Speaker and outgoing ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete – who abandoned her presidential ambitions a day before throwing her weight behind Ramaphosa – shared a group hug with Gwede Mantashe and Jessie Duarte.

As songs about Dlamini-Zuma and Ramaphosa competed for airspace, Congress of SA Trade Unions’ president Sdumo Dlamini approached the microphone and burst into song, as if making a plea for the factional songs to end: “Thina sobabamba, uyashisa lomzabalazo, Ngoba thina sobabamba.”

Spurred on by cheers of encouragement, admittedly from the media, Zuma too took to the microphone and sang “Yinde lendlela esiyhamabayo” before belting out his greatest hit, “lethu mshini wami, mshini wam”.

Over an hour later, the electoral commission showed up. Nelson Mandela’s chosen one, the drafter of the Constitution, the son of Venda, finally had his day in the sun. Kingmaker David Mabuza followed as his deputy and Gwede Mantashe stepped up now as chairperson.

In a shock move, Magashule joined the cabal of male elites after Senzo Mchunu was carried onto the stage by a throng of supporters who had pre-empted his victory. Duarte retained her position as deputy secretary-general. Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile got the keys to the ANC’s empty safe as treasurer-general.

It was a top six that no one – except those who engineered it – saw coming.


Was the election of the ANC’s top six fair, or do you think there was tampering with the results?

SMS us on 35697 using the keyword ANC and tell us what you think. Please include your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50

Read more on:    anc  |  anc elective conference

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.