South Africa: Jacob Zuma sweeps to victory in ANC leadership election
Source: The Guardian
Amid apartheid-era songs and hoots from vuvuzelas, South African President Jacob Zuma has swept to victory in his party's leadership contest, effectively securing the continent's most powerful office until 2019.
Zuma trounced his only challenger, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, who ran a largely muted and reluctant campaign, by 2,983 votes to 991 at the African National Congress (ANC) conference. A beaming Zuma came to the stage immediately after the announcement (video), waving to the cheering crowd with both hands.
Motlanthe did not contest the deputy presidency, ending a 15-year career in the party's "top six". The position was won resoundingly by Cyril Ramaphosa, a struggle hero turned millionaire tycoon making a long-awaited return to frontline politics. Some believe he is hoping to play "prime minister" to Zuma's head of state.
The results were greeted by a cacophony of cheers and whistles at the conference marquee in Bloemfontein, in Mangaung municipality. Zuma's supporters turned his opponents' rolling hand motion – signalling that he should be substituted like a footballer – against them, mimicking the gesture then throwing their arms apart and hollering in unison.