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South Africa's Ramaphosa gets most nominations ahead of ANC leadership vote
December 4, 2017 / 8:30 PM / 9 days ago

South Africa's Ramaphosa gets most nominations ahead of ANC leadership vote

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has received the most nominations for leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) ahead of a party vote this month, voting data from the country’s nine provinces show.

South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa greets security personnel at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017 meeting in Durban, South Africa, May 5, 2017. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

Ramaphosa is one of two frontrunners in a closely watched contest to take over from President Jacob Zuma as ANC leader at a party conference starting on Dec. 16.

Whoever becomes ANC leader will most likely be the next president of South Africa, owing to the ruling party’s electoral dominance.

Ramaphosa received 1,862 nominations by ANC branches, whereas his main rival for ANC leader, former cabinet minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, received 1,309 endorsements.

Reuters compiled the number of nominations for each candidate based on voting data released by provincial ANC structures.

FILE PHOTO: Former African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma looks on during the African National Congress 5th National Policy Conference at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Soweto, South Africa, June 30, 2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

ANC officials in the provinces of Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal were the last to release their nominations totals on Monday.

Ramaphosa, a former trade union leader and millionaire businessman, is seen as more market-friendly than Dlamini-Zuma, who was previously married to Zuma.

Signs that Ramaphosa has been doing well in the nominations by ANC branches have boosted the rand currency ZAR=D3 in recent weeks.

However, Dlamini-Zuma could still win the race for ANC leader as analysts say the outcome in December could be swayed by inducements and pressure on conference delegates.

Delegates are not bound to vote for the candidate that was nominated by their ANC branch.

Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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