South Africa’s Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa has taken a lead in party nominations for the next leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). With this lead, Ramaphosa has secured the support of 65% of branches tallied so far, a poll showed.
Hundreds of ANC branches across the country are nominating their choice for the party president and other senior positions ahead of a December conference where about 5,000 from the branches are expected to cast their votes.
The ANC’s next leader will probably replace President Jacob Zuma at a national election in 2019 given the party’s electoral dominance.
Early indications show that party members are split between Ramaphosa, a former union leader and one of the country’s richest citizen and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former minister and ex- wife of Zuma for the top job.
The poll by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) reveals that Dlamini-Zuma had secured 30% of nominations and that ANC Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize received most of the remaining 5% of nominations.
The IRR said its data suggested 74% of ANC branches had made nominations and cautioned that it had not been able to corroborate its findings.
The ANC does not make the nomination tallies public.
Ramaphosa’s win in December is tended to be viewed as the more positive outcome by investors, some of whom have been spooked by Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign message of radical wealth redistribution.