South Africa

Violence, Allegations of Vote Rigging Ahead of Regional Party Conferences in South Africa

Jacob Zuma retained control of the ANC in a landslide at the national conference this week

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When the announcement came today that President Jacob Zuma had obliterated his opponent here in Mangaung at the ANC's national conference to retain his leadership of the party for another five years by a 75% majority, the sweaty, packed conference marquee erupted in jubilation.

Zuma had not just managed to see off deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe and his noisy supporters, but his grip on the party had been tightened considerably too. He was master and commander, and his increased support – up from 60% in his first term – had handed him the ability to proceed with major changes if he so wished.