Outgoing ANC Secretary General Comrade Gwede Mantashe delivers his organisational report. Picture: @MYANC/Twitter
Johannesburg - As South Africa and the world reacts continues to react to the election of the new ANC top six, the spotlight came on who exactly the new elected officials are.

The party elected its top brass at its 54th National Elective Conference, currently underway at Nasrec, with Cyril Ramaphosa, David Mabuza, Gwede Mantashe, Ace Magashule, Jessie Duarte and Paul Mashatile emerging victorious.

But as the newly elected top brass gears up to take on the task of unifying a divided ANC, below is a look at who exactly the new chairperson is.

Who is Gwede Mantashe: 

Mantashe, 62, hails from Cala in the Eastern Cape and is a former trade unionist and mineworker. 

He was also elected the national chairperson of the South African Communist Party (SACP) in 2007, a position he held till 2012. 

He also holds the distinction of being the first trade unionist to be appointed to the board of directors of Samancor.

Of course, Mantashe's most well-known stint is that of Secretary General of the ANC, a position he held for 10 years. 

Elected in 2007 at the ANC's Polokwane conference, Mantashe assumed power of one the party's most powerful offices from Kgalema Motlanthe.

The SG is the chief executive of the party, bearing the responsibility of managing the administration of the party and ensuring the party's structures are functioning well. 

His tenure has not been without controversy however, with allegations emerging that his wife, Nolwandle, was reportedly awarded the biggest government contract in history. 

According to reports, Mantashe was accused of using her as a front. 

In October this year, Mantashe threw his weight behind Ramaphosa, saying that the ANC would be in a crisis if President Jacob Zuma did not hand over the leadership reins to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

"If President Zuma, with experience refuses to handover to the DP, we will be a crisis. Let us find a woman to be DP (deputy president), for succession to be managed," said Mantashe tweeted back in October. 

He was then named as part of Ramaphosa's "winning team". 

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