South Africa’s ruling African National Congress is hours away from announcing its president to lead the party into elections in 2019.
Voting was postponed last night and will be resumed this morning (Monday) in the bitterly divided contest between businessman and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and outgoing President Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma remains too close to call.
On the face of it, Cyril Ramaphosa has the support of enough branches of the African National Congress to win the leadership contest comfortably.
Of the 4731 delegates voting, 2941 have been mandated by their branches to support him.
However delegates customarily make personal decisions when in the voting booth.
There are fears some have been bribed.
So Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma cannot being written off.
The delay in agreeing on credentials meant conference got down to the nuts and bolts of voting more than a day late.
Delegates rejected a call to reduce the the size of the national executive from 80 to 60.
Similarly they threw out a proposal to increase the size of the party’s top leadership from six to seven.
Conference still has to hear messages of support from the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions who are the ANC’s partners in the so-called triple alliance.
Zuma made withering attacks on these allies in his swan song speech to the conference on Saturday.