The ANC's new top six at the party's 54th National Elective Conference. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency/ANA.
Johannesburg - Reaction was mixed on Monday following the election of the ANC's new top six at the party's 54th National Elective Conference.

Ramaphosa won following a heavily contested race with Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

A mere 179 votes separated Ramaphosa from his rival. He won by 2440 votes, while Dlamini Zuma received 2261 votes.

He takes over from outgoing ANC president Jacob Zuma. 

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza, who had been squarely in Dlamini-Zuma's camp, beat Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu with 2,538 votes to 2,159 in the race for the deputy presidency of the party.

Outgoing secretary general Gwede Mantashe was elected as chairman of the party. His former position went to Free State Premier Ace Magashule, who along with Mabuza, could test Ramaphosa's skills as a political negotiator and unifier of a party that earlier on Monday acknowledged deep concern at its declining support at the polls.

Long-time Zuma loyalist Jessie Duarte was re-elected deputy secretary general with 2,474 votes to Zingiswa Losi’s 2,213, while Paul Mashatile, a former Gauteng premier and arts minister has become treasurer-general.

Mashatile was seen as part of "Team Ramaphosa" going into the conference and has stressed the need for revival in the ANC.

ALSO READ: #ANC54: BREAKING: Ramaphosa elected ANC president

The new ANC president Cryil Ramaphosa celebrating with Lindiwe Zulu after winning. Picture Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency/ANA

Reaction within the Nasrec centre was mixed during the announcement, with disappointment palpable on the faces of some delegates. 

However, the rand soared to its highest level against major currencies in months as news broke of Ramaphosa's victory.

On social media, some users congratulated Ramaphosa on his win and appealed to him to be a better leader.

May he Lead this Country for the better please!😭😭💥

Another user expressed hope that the new leader of the ruling party "will lead the party with integrity and transparency".

#CR17 for the win!!!! I pray that you lead the ruling party with integrity and transparency. #ANC54 #ANCConference

Reactions to the election of the new top six, however were not as favourable, as many lamented the inclusion of the likes of Magashule, Duarte and Mabuza. 

Ace, Jessie, DD. Good Luck Cyril. You will need it. Shem.

More reactions: 

Cyril won, yes. But the road ahead is long and uncertain. Still baffles me why Cyril volunteered himself for such torture #CR17 #ANC54

Congratulations #CR17 for being elected #ANC54 President. It will however be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for you to become RSA President. The EFF is ready on the ground!

The future is exciting #CR17

I hope the New President will be able to contain the Guptas he will be working with!! #CR17


DD and Ace are disturbing our celebration yazi😑😑 #ANC54 #CR17 #ANCElectiveConference

On Facebook, some were also not impressed by the top 6:

Lutando Shirley Layzo posted: " ANC is not ready to change.Those 3 (Mabuza,Jessie and Magashule)lacks credibility.It is now left for us to vote the ANC out in 2019.We are back to square 1."

"4 snakes surrounding Cyril Ramaphosa, may God give him the wisdom to deal with them," said  Siyasanga Mayekiso.

IOL and African News Agency