Jacob Zuma is the new president of ANC
Jacob Zuma is the new president of the African National Congress. The announcement was greeted by an outpouring of joy and ecstatic cheering by ANC delegates at the party's conference in Polokwane shortly before 9pm. Thabo Mbeki received 1 505 votes and Zuma received 2329.
The results of the day's voting, which started early in the morning following some computer-related delays, were announced in the main conference marquee on the campus of the University of the Limpopo.
The position of deputy president went to current secretary general Kgalema Motlanthe, who received 2 346 votes against the 1 445 votes gained by his opponent Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Voters had stood in long queues for most of the day, sometimes for up to two hours, to make their mark.
Groups of Mbeki and Zuma fans sang, cheered and marched around the campus at various times during the day to show their support.
By mid-afternoon, voting had closed and manual counting of votes had started.
During the nominations session on Monday night, ANC heavyweight Tokyo Sexwale had declined his nomination to the position of national chairperson as the names of those in the running for the top six positions were announced.
His announcement surprised a conference session that had up to then done little but applaud when the names of the candidates for party president (Mbeki and Zuma going head to head, as predicted) and deputy president (Mbeki loyalist Joel Netshitenzhe and Kgalema Motlanthe) were announced without further nominations. However, cheers rang out after he had finished speaking.
A delegate from Limpopo province then nominated Baleka Mbete, who accepted, and a clear majority of delegates signalled their approval by a show of hands.
Chairperson Mosiuoa Lekota and Gwede Mantashe, former general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers, are in the running for the position of secretary general, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Mathews Phosa are vying to become the new treasurer general.
Mbete declined her nomination as deputy secretary general following Sexwale's earlier announcement, and a Limpopo delegate then nominated North West speaker Thandi Modise to stand against Thoko Didiza for the position. Again a large number of hands indicated the majority of delegates' approval of the nomination.
Counting of votes for the top six will be done manually to assuage concerns raised at the conference of Sunday regarding the transparency of the voting process.
Am I bothered? Do I look bothered?