Party in Polokwane as Zuma sweeps to victory

Published Dec 18, 2007


Delegates danced on their tables, screamed with joy and hugged each other deliriously as Jacob Zuma swept to victory by almost 2 000 votes for the presidency of the African National Congress.

Zuma received 2 329 votes against his predecessor Thabo Mbeki's 1 505.

After the result was announced, Zuma and Mbeki walked on to the stage together, with Mbeki smiling and with Zuma looking slightly shocked and humbled, while fireworks went off outside the Polokwane venue of the ANC's national conference.

As they approached the front of the stage, Mbeki turned to Zuma and hugged him and clasped his hand, then was led off stage.

Zuma sat down in the hot seat at the top-six table and it was only when he looked out into the hall, to a strobe of camera flashes, that he started to smile.

Former secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe was voted deputy president with 2 346 votes against Zuma's former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who received 1 444 votes.

She was booed before her results were announced but when she and Motlanthe walked onto the stage hand in hand, the crowd cheered. Then she congratulated Zuma with two hugs.

Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete became the first woman in the Zuma team with 2 326 votes, beating Joel Netshitenzhe with 1 475.

Gwede Mantashe was elected secretary-general with 2 378 votes against former chairman and Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota's 1 432.

Thandi Modise was voted deputy secretary-general with 2 304 votes against Thoko Didiza's 1 455.

Former Mpumalanga premier Mathews Phosa was voted treasurer-general with 2 328 votes against deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka's 1 374. - Sapa

Related Topics: