South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has won first round of nominations for the ANC presidency, after all nine provinces completed their provincial general councils.

Ramaphosa had 1,862 branch nominations, compared to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s 1,527 meaning he has a 552-branch nomination lead.

However, the figure excludes the 223 Mpumalanga branch nominations, where the word “unity” was written next to the name of the top six delegates.

The “unity” nominations were recorded as abstentions, even though the numbers were higher than those of Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma.

Ramaphosa had the nod from five provinces: Gauteng, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and Limpopo.

Dlamini-Zuma has the most support from KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Free State and Mpumalanga.

READ: ‘I Will Not Support DP Ruto In 2022’ Karua Declares

The nomination process was completed when Dlamini-Zuma won 433 nominations from her home province. However, Ramaphosa made inroads, garnering 193 nominations.

Dlamini-Zuma was married to President Jacob Zuma as his third wife and the couple had four children before their divorce in June 1998. He is seen to favour her to take over both ANC leadership and the Presidency.

She has held plump government positions right from Mandela’s tenure and was made Minister Of Home Affairs in the first term of President Zuma.

However, Ramaphosa’s toughest challenge is that Dlamini-Zuma has the support of the biggest provinces, who are sending more delegates to the fiercely-contested conference set  December 16 in Johannesburg and where a final nomination by delegates will be made.

Do you have a story you want told? Do you know of a sensitive story you would like us to get our hands on? Email your News tips to [email protected]