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South Africa’s ANC Ends Leadership Vote; Zuma Set to Win

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress ended voting for its top leaders with results expected later today.

ANC members from Limpopo province were the last to vote at 7 a.m. local time at the party’s national conference in the central city of Bloemfontein today, Peter Tabane Rankoe, a delegate from Polokwane, said in an interview today. Voting began at 2 a.m., he said.

President Jacob Zuma, 70, is the favorite to win a second five-year term as head of the ruling party, fighting off a challenge from his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe. ANC members that nominated Zuma for the top post chose Cyril Ramaphosa, one of the nation’s richest black businessmen, as their candidate for vice president. Motlanthe yesterday dropped out of the race for the deputy post.

“I voted for Jacob Zuma,” Rankoe, 58, said. “The president should serve two terms. Ramaphosa and Zuma will make a very good partnership.”

More than 4,000 ANC members were scheduled to vote at the conference, which takes place every five years. The next ANC president becomes the party’s presidential candidate in the country’s general election scheduled for 2014.

Keith Khoza, a spokesman for the ANC, wasn’t immediately able to give details of when voting results would be announced.

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