Zuma's reign is extended: South African president expected to spend another five years in charge after being re-elected as his party's leaderSouth African president re-elected as leader of African National CongressJacob Zuma defeated Kgalema Motlanthe by 2,983 votes to 991Tycoon Cyril Ramaphosa has been elected as his party's No.2
00:32 GMT, 19 December 2012
Jacob Zuma is expected to spend at least another five years as President of South Africa after he was re-elected leader of his party yesterday.
Zuma – who has been married six times and is estimated to have 20 children – defeated Kgalema Motlanthe, his only challenger for the leadership of the African National Congress, by 2,983 votes to 991.
Other parties lack the support enjoyed in the post-apartheid era by the ANC, whose members dominate the National Assembly that elects the nation’s president for a five-year term.
Re-elected: South African president Jacob Zuma's reign as leader of his party has been extended
Tycoon Cyril Ramaphosa, a former union leader whose net worth has been estimated at 450million, was elected his party’s No.2.
Mr Zuma, who has faced corruption allegations since he became president in 2009, said: ‘What we do … is in the interest, not just of our organisation, but of our country and its people.’
A smiling Zuma came to the stage immediately after the announcement, waving to the cheering crowd with both hands.
After his victory he said: 'We can boast that we’re a leader of our society, that therefore we have something to contribute to the democratic life of this country, to this democratic Republic of South Africa.'
Ramaphosa is a former union leader who was African National Congress general secretary during the constitutional negotiations that ended apartheid in 1994.
He went on to found an investment empire with interests that include a power plant, McDonald’s franchises, a Coca-Cola bottler and mines.
In power: Zuma will now almost certainly be president of South Africa for the next five years following his re-election
Ramaphosa has been a leading figure behind the scenes in the ANC, though he shuns interviews and publicly offered no comments on policy or political matters ahead of the vote.
His election sent Motlanthe out of the top rungs of power after his challenge. Zuma and Motlanthe later embraced for several seconds and spoke together on stage in view of delegates.
Some 4,000 delegates voted in the ANC’s leadership contest at the party’s Mangaung conference, being held in the city also known as Bloemfontein.
Defeated: Challenger Motlanthe has been left out of the top rungs of the party after he lost by nearly 2,000 votes
The run-up to the conference has seen disrupted provincial meetings, threats and shootings of local ANC officials, as corruption allegations trail from the smallest local government to Zuma at the top.
That has many wondering whether the ANC still remains the party of reconciliation and racial fellowship that icon Nelson Mandela and others envisioned.
Zuma, 70, was the favourite heading into the conference after winning the nominations in most provincial ANC polls. He has wide support among Zulus, South Africa’s largest ethnic group, as well as from a loyal cadre of government and party officials.