Overwhelming support for Zuma and allies

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iol news pic Mangaung six pic2 African National Congress ANC Top Six L-R Dr Zweli Mkhize Treasurer, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa - Deputy President, Jacob Zuma - President, Ms Baleka Mbete - Chairperson, Mr Gwede Mantashe - Secretary General and Ms Jessie Duarte - Deputy Secretary General after their election into the 6 top positions in the ANC at the 53rd National Conference held at the University of Free State in Bloemfontein (Mangaung). Pic: ANC Communications Unit

FLA

MANGAUNG-RESULTS-WRAP by Genevieve Quintal and Ahmed Areff

BLOEMFONTEIN Dec 18 Sapa

OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FOR ZUMA AND ALLIES

It was an overwhelming victory for President Jacob Zuma, his allies and supporters on Tuesday as he secured a second term as the ANC's leader.

Zuma won the presidency with 2983 votes to his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe, who received 991 votes at the party's national elective conference.

Of the 3977 votes two were spoilt and there was one abstention.

Delegates in the plenary marquee erupted in cheers before the electoral commission could finish announcing Zuma's win.

Most of the delegates chanted "Zuma, Zuma, Zuma".

They waved African National Congress flags, blew vuvuzelas and shouted "Phinda Msholozi" (do it again, Msholozi).

Zuma took his place on the stage smiling and shaking hands with people around him.

It took a while for delegates to settle down so that the announcement of results could continue.

The hotly contested position of ANC deputy president was won by businessman Cyril Ramaphosa with an overwhelming 3018 votes.

He was contested by Mathews Phosa and Tokyo Sexwale, the candidates for those calling for a change of leadership in the party. Phosa received 470 votes and Sexwale 463.

There were 13 spoilt votes and 13 abstentions.

The marquee vibrated with cheers as Ramaphosa moved towards the stage.

Security had to clear a path as people flocked around him.

Ramaphosa hugged Zuma as he reached his place on the stage.

National chairwoman Baleka Mbete retained her position.

She beat Thandi Modise with 3010 votes to 939.

There were five spoilt votes and 23 abstentions.

Zuma supporters from Limpopo mocked those who opposed the president and his allies.

They rolled their hands, as is done in soccer matches to call for a player's substitution, and added a thumbs-down to it.

"Change?... uhmmm..," they murmured.

Some held up copies of the New Age newspaper which had a picture of the Zuma slate on the front page.

The position of secretary-general was retained by Gwede Mantashe.

He was contested by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.

Mantashe received 3058 votes while Mbalula got 901.

There were six spoilt votes and 12 abstentions.

Delegates sang "we want a secretary with content".

Mantashe and Ramaphosa shared a hug, congratulating each other.

Former presidency spokeswoman Jessie Duarte was elected unopposed as Mantashe's deputy.

As she made her way to the stage delegates chanted her name.

The final top six position of treasurer general went to KwaZulu-Natal chairman Zweli Mkhize.

He was voted in with 2988 votes, beating Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile, who received 961 votes.

There were six spoilt votes and 22 abstentions.

The newly elected officials had all appeared on the so-called "Zuma slate".

During the lunch time break supporters stood outside the marquee and celebrated by singing songs in support of their leaders.

Sapa

/gq/aa/tk/dd/jje 12/18/12 14-25


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