South Africa's ANC picks Cyril Ramaphosa as leader

By BBC
Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken out strongly against state corruption

South Africa's ruling African National Congress, ANC, has selected Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma as the party's leader.

The country's deputy president defeated former cabinet minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Mr Zuma's ex-wife, after a marathon voting process.

Mr Ramaphosa is in a strong position to become president in 2019 polls.

The leadership battle caused fierce political infighting, raising fears the party may split before the election.
Mr Ramaphosa defeated Ms Dlamini-Zuma by 2,440 votes to 2,261, an ANC spokesperson announced.

The result triggered celebrations among party members.

Media reports earlier said the announcement had been delayed after Ms Dlamini-Zuma's camp had demanded a recount.

Mr Ramaphosa, 65, has spoken out strongly against state corruption and has the backing of the business community.

Ms Dlamini-Zuma, 68, had been critical of the enduring power of white-owned businesses and had pledged to tackle what she said was continued racial inequality.