Zuma congratulates Ramaphosa, ANC NEC

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Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa (R) chats with President Jacob Zuma during the 54th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa December 16, 2017.

Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa (R) chats with President Jacob Zuma during the 54th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa December 16, 2017.

JOHANNESBURG -  Former African National Congress (ANC) leader and South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday congratulated the new leader of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa and his “leadership collective”, the National Executive Committee (NEC), elected at the governing party’s just-ended 54th National Conference held at Nasrec, Johannesburg.

“I wish to heartily congratulate Comrade President Cyril Ramaphosa for his election to lead this giant movement of our people, the ANC,” said Zuma.

“With Comrade President Ramaphosa and his leadership collective, lies the aspirations of our people in South Africa, the region and the continent, the majority of whom are black and poor. We, therefore, wish the leadership collective all the best in taking our country forward through the policies and programmes of the ANC.”

READ: IN QUOTES: What Ramaphosa told ANC delegates

The conference also elected David Mabuza as ANC deputy president, Gwede Mantashe as national chairperson, Ace Magashule as secretary-general, Jessie Duarte as deputy secretary-general and Paul Mashatile as the treasurer-general to complete the top six spots.

Zuma said he also noted “with content that the spirit of unity displayed throughout the conference was carried into the election of the leadership collective”.

The president, who was backing former African Union chair and ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed him at the helm of the party, said there was “no winner or loser” in the election of leaders.

He said the ANC was the “clear winner”.

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Zuma thanked and congratulated all the delegates for the outstanding discipline and determined manner in which they conducted themselves and the business of the ANC at the conference.

“The delegates have shown, yet again, that there is no task bigger than the ANC. But most importantly, they have demonstrated that the unity of the ANC is sacrosanct,” the president said.

“I am also certain that the policies as adopted by the conference will lead South African to prosperity through the programme of Radical Socio-Economic Transformation and a renewed onslaught on the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.”