'Don’t blow it!': Here’s what News24 readers think of Ramaphosa’s re-election, ANC's new top 7

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Cyril Ramaphosa at the ANC's 55th national elective conference in Johannesburg on 17 December 2022.
Cyril Ramaphosa at the ANC's 55th national elective conference in Johannesburg on 17 December 2022.
Alfonso Nqunjana

News24 subscribers appear to be split over the re-election of Cyril Ramaphosa's as president of the ANC. 

Ramaphosa beat rival Zweli Mkhize with 2 476 votes to 1 897 after a drawn-out voting process at the party's national elective conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg.

READ | Resounding victory for Ramaphosa as he takes charge of divided, declining party for second term

Ramaphosa will lead the ANC alongside Paul Mashatile as the party's new deputy president.  

National chairperson Gwede Mantashe, treasurer-general Gwen Ramokgopa, secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, first deputy secretary-general Nomvula Mokonyane and second deputy secretary-general Maropene Ramokgopa make up the remainder of the ANC's top seven leaders.   

As the party's election results were announced late on Monday morning, News24's live news feed was flooded with comments and reactions from readers.

Second chances

Despite facing scrutiny over the Phala Phala scandal, several readers were relieved Ramaphosa remained in power and felt he should use his second term as an opportunity to redeem himself and the faction-ridden ANC ahead of the 2024 general election.

Some urged him to "clean up -his house" and get rid of corruption-accused leaders in the governing party for the sake of the country.

"Hopefully, CR will now be energised sufficiently to clean this ANC mess up to make way for a coalition government after the next election," said a reader with the username So True.

"This is your second chance. Don’t blow it. Please!" pleaded one user, while another exclaimed: "My President! Going forward, be strong, decisive, and most importantly crack the whip and take us to the 'New Dawn'."

User Emesjay echoed this sentiment, saying: "Let's hope that Cyril has learnt his lesson that you can't play this game with cotton gloves. Fire the incompetent, those with very sticky fingers and those ministers that think they are better than the people they serve… Decisions need to be made and made quickly."

ROLLING COVERAGE | Follow the ANC conference live as it unfolds

"Time for CR to become president for all South Africa and be the decisive and powerful leader we require and one that brings all South Africans together for the best of SA, and against what's bad for SA. Hope to see the best version," Emen said.

"Ramaphosa now has a second chance to get the country on the right track. He needs to get rid of the dead wood in his Cabinet as soon as possible and replace them with people who have the necessary qualifications and skills, not cadres. We also need to see the changes for the better, before the next election, failing which the ANC could end up being the opposition party," added JayN. 

Same old, same old

But not everyone was impressed with Ramaphosa's second term at the helm of a sinking ANC. Some News24 subscribers believed his re-election upheld the status quo within the ANC, an organisation which has been accused of enabling corruption and state capture for years.

User PeterBeck described Ramaphosa's victory as "just another vote of confidence in the state capture" and another user called him the "captain of the Titanic". 

Commenting on the ANC's new top seven leadership, TheDarkSide73 wrote: "And so the decay and the rot of SA will continue - they have no credible or competent leaders, and they are all in it for themselves."

User Cobus Lubbe added: "No renewal for the ANC, no fresh blood or young innovative thinking people. Same old, same old."

One user claimed there was "nothing to celebrate" and another warned South Africa was "doomed" under the leadership of the ANC's top seven.

"Nothing will change," bemoaned Nomad as user ivanzan1 asked: "Is this the best that the ANC can offer?"

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