Photos: Ramaphosa Poised to Lead South Africa After ANC Vote

South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa beat former African Union Commission Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in a battle for control of the ruling African National Congress, putting him on track to become the nation’s next leader in 2019. The contest caused deep rifts in the 105-year-old ANC and unnerved investors seeking political and policy clarity. Ramaphosa faces the task of rebuilding an economy battered by years of misrule and bringing down a 28 percent unemployment rate while halting the dwindling support for the ANC, as it’s at risk of losing its majority in 2019 elections.

 

Photographs by Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa's deputy president and newly elected president of the African National Congress party, center, gestures on stage during the 54th national conference of the African National Congress party in Johannesburg, on Dec. 18, 2017.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, right, and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, were front-runners for the top job.

The conference is taking place as Zuma’s immersion in a succession of scandals is eroding the party’s standing to such an extent that it’s now at risk of losing its majority in 2019 elections.

Cyril Ramaphosa, one of the wealthiest black South Africans, has pledged to revive the struggling economy and stamp out corruption.

People wear ANC branded clothing at a stall during the 54th national conference of the African National Congress party in Johannesburg.

Jacob Zuma speaks during the event.

Besides the ANC leader, the delegates voted for five other top officials in a ballot that was initially scheduled to take place overnight on Saturday. 

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, left, greets Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, former wife of former president Nelson Mandela. Dlamini-Zuma, was backed by the party’s women’s and youth leagues.

Former Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe, left, said the ANC was riven by factionalism, showing serious signs of decline and in danger of the losing the electoral majority it has held since white-minority rule ended in 1994.