18 Dec 2012

Jacob Zuma wins landslide re-election as ANC leader

South African President Jacob Zuma is re-elected as leader of the country’s governing party, the African National Congress.

Jacob Zuma wins landslide re-election (R)

President Zuma was running against Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe but the 70-year-old party leader was tipped to win and received an overwhelming majority of votes, despite allegations of corruption.

Some 4,000 delegates voted at the Africa National Congress‘s (ANC) Mangaung Conference, held in the central city of Bloemfontein, on Tuesday.

The ANC’s dominant position in parliament means President Zuma will almost certainly retain the presidency of South Africa in the 2014 general election and lead the nation until 2019.

Deputy President Motlanthe had hoped for a surprise victory after being nominated by at least three of South Africa’s nine provinces. He only confirmed his candidacy two weeks ago.

Cyril Ramaphosa, a hero from the anti-apartheid era, was elected as President Zuma’s deputy, with four additional positions also announced.

Mr Motlanthe said on Monday that he would not stand again to be deputy leader, but it is likely that President Zuma will offer him a senior position.

String of controversies

Since taking control of the ANC in 2007, Mr Zuma has been implicated in a string of controversies. Earlier this year police killed 34 striking miners in a single day, and it emerged that approximately $27m (£17m) of taxpayers’ money had been used to renovate the president’s private home.

Meanwhile, as delegates cast their votes for Tuesday’s election, four white South Africans were charged with treason over a suspected plot to bomb the ANC conference, in an attempt to assassinate Mr Zuma and other government officials.

The four men, named as Mark Trollip, Hein Boonzaaier, Johan Hendrick Prinsloo and John Martin Keevy, were brought into court in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.

The majority of white South Africans acknowledged the ANC’s victory in the 1994 all-race election that brought Nelson Mandela to power and ended decades of white-minority rule.

However, a tiny few continue to resist the historic agreement in Africa’s largest economy