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South Africa’s ANC picks Cyril Ramaphosa as leader

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has selected Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma as the party’s leader.

The country’s deputy president defeated former cabinet minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Mr Zuma’s ex-wife, after a marathon voting process.

Mr Ramaphosa is in a strong position to become president in 2019 polls.

The leadership battle caused fierce political infighting, raising fears the party might split before the election.

Mr Ramaphosa defeated Ms Dlamini-Zuma by 2,440 votes to 2,261, an ANC spokesperson announced.

The result triggered celebrations among party delegates in Johannesburg and also on the streets of the city.

Media reports said earlier that the announcement had been delayed, with Ms Dlamini-Zuma’s camp demanding a recount.

The voting process started on Sunday.

  • Born in Soweto, Johannesburg, in 1952
  • Detained in 1974 and 1976 for anti-apartheid activities
  • Launched the National Union of Mineworkers in 1982
  • Chairman of the National Reception Committee which prepared for Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990
  • Became an MP and chairman of constitutional assembly in 1994
  • Moved full-time into business in 1997, becoming one of South Africa’s richest businessmen
  • On Lonmin board during 2012 Marikana massacre
  • Became South Africa’s deputy president in 2014
  • Elected ANC leader in 2017 (with bbc)

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