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Ramaphosa defies ‘farmgate’ scandal to win ANC re-election

President Cyril Ramaphosa defied the ‘farmgate’ scandal to win re-election as the governing ANC’s leader.

He defeated Zweli Mkhize by 2 476 votes to 1 897.

Ramaphosa won despite facing allegations that he sought to cover up the theft of foreign currency amounting to at least US$580 000 from his private game farm in 2020.

A panel of legal experts appointed by the speaker of parliament said he had a case to answer as he may have both violated the constitution and broken an anti-corruption law.

Ramaphosa has however denied any wrongdoing and has launched legal action to annul the panel’s report.

His rival, Mkhize, was South Africa’s health minister until he was forced to resign last year over allegations of misspending funds set aside to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also denies any wrongdoing.

Paul Mashatile was elected the ANC’s new deputy leader after he edged out Ramaphosa’s allies, Oscar Mabuyane and Ronald Lamola, to secure the party’s second-most senior post.

However, the president’s allies won other powerful posts in the party, with Fikile Mbalula securing that of secretary-general and Gwede Mantashe retaining the post of national chairperson.

Three women – Nomvula Mokonyane (deputy secretary-general), Maropene Ramokgopa (second deputy secretary-general) and Gwen Ramokgopa (treasurer-general) – complete the ANC’s seven-member leadership.

No leader from KwaZulu-Natal, the political heartland of former president Jacob Zuma, was elected to any of the top positions, in the latest sign of his and the region’s declining influence in the party. – Staff Reporter

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