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South Africa: President Ramaphosa’s almost-friends

By Anna Maree
Posted on Monday, 17 May 2021 13:51

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa appears on behalf of the ruling African National Congress party at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state corruption in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, 29 April 2021. (AP Photo/Kim Ludbrook/Pool)

President Cyril Ramaphosa has managed to convincingly tip the balance of power in the top structures of South Africa’s governing African National Congress in his favour, with last week's suspension of the party’s secretary general, Ace Magashule, who on 13 May moved to court to challenge his suspension. 

Previously, the power balance was somewhat precarious for Ramaphosa, who was elected party president in December 2017 with a margin of only 179 votes over his challenger Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma from Magashule’s faction.

Divisions amongst the 5000 branch delegates who attended the electoral conference were reflected in the 86-member national executive committee (NEC) whom they voted for.