Free State premier Ace Magashule has been elected unopposed as chairperson of the ANC in the province.
Magashule received a landslide 204 nominations against his former deputy Thabo Manyoni’s 25.
Manyoni, however, did not attend the conference, boycotting it because of alleged irregularities at the Branch General Meetings (BGM) that deployed delegates to the gathering.
Through a phone call with officials overseeing the nominations and elections process, Manyoni rejected his nomination, making Magashule the uncontested leader.
Magashule now receives another term in a position he has occupied since 1992.
“The reason why he keeps getting elected is because he is grounded. He is the only premier who still lives in a township next to RDP houses,” said one delegate from the Fezile Dabi region.
All other positions remain occupied by the same officials except for the position of deputy chairperson for which Motheo regional chairperson Paseka Nompondo was elected.
Nompondo now replaces Manyoni, who was once a close ally of Magashule’s. The two have since developed strained ties after Magashule removed Manyoni from his position as mayor of the Mangaung Metro.
Though the conference has been concluded it still faces the prospect of legal action by a group of disgruntled ANC members who want to bring into question the legitimacy of its processes by alleging that 32% of BGMs in the province have irregularities.
In late November, the high court in Bloemfontein found that at least 28 BGMs had been irregularly constituted and ordered them to be rerun before the conference could continue.
While Magashile supporters now claim this process has been completed, those seeking legal action say only seven of the BGMs have been rerun and that they have evidence of more than 70 other irregularities.
The matter is expected to sit in court on Thursday.
Other elected leaders are:
Deputy chairperson: Paseka Nompondo
Secretary: William Bulwane
Deputy secretary: Mamiki Qabathe
Treasurer: Mosebenzi Zwane