South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has been re-elected as chief of the country’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) for a second five-year term.
Ramaphosa was re-elected during the 55th national conference of the ANC, which started in Johannesburg on December 16 and will end on Tuesday, reports Xinhua news agency.
The President got 2,476 votes while his challenger, Zweli Mkhize, got 1,897.
“Cadres had preferences when they came to the congress, but all must be committed to the unity of the ANC, selflessness, and a great sense of responsibility. We have to support anyone who has been elected,” ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe told a press briefing on Monday.
The ANC national conference, which takes place every five years, was attended by about 4,500 delegates from across the country.
Ramaphosa won despite being dogged by allegations of money laundering, and a last-minute surge in support for Mkhize, who has also been accused of corruption.
Both have denied the allegations.
The President’s victory puts him in pole position to lead the ANC in the 2024 general election.
The ANC has been in power since 1994, and is hoping to secure a sixth term in the 2024 parliamentary election.
The party also elected a new deputy leader, Paul Mashatile, who defeated Ramaphosa’s preferred candidate for the second-most powerful post in the party.
Mashatile is now the front-runner to become South Africa’s deputy president, and president in the event Ramaphosa is forced out of power.