Celebrations continue outside ANC’s 55th National Conference

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Celebrations are continuing unabated outside the African National Congress (ANC) 55th National Conference venue in Nasrec, south of Johannesburg. ANC supporters in party regalia were singing struggle slogans, with some praising the newly-elected leadership.

President of the Party Cyril Ramaphosa defeated former Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize . The Head of the party’s Electoral Committee, Kgalema Motlanthe announced the results with Ramaphosa receiving 2 476 votes against 1 897 votes for Mkhize.

Security has been stepped up, with police patrolling the area on horse back, on foot and motorbike. However, Police Minister Bheki Cele has dismissed perceptions that the high visibility of SAPS was only because this is an ANC event.

Bheki Cele reacts to newly elected ANC leadership:

Police were keeping a watchful eye as ANC supporters were out in their numbers to celebrate the victory of their organisation.

“As a member I have hope now for the country we were so frustrated but after Cyril has won, community members, everybody we have confidence that he will deal with this issue of corruption.”

“And we are very proud that our president came back. And happy for our SG Fikile Mbalula.”

“You know yesterday it was just touch and go man. I nearly did not come here today but when the numbers changed, Wow! I saw a new hope for this country. He needs the second term. The whole world is watching.”

Some were visiting the nearby stalls to purchase party regalia. While others were buying food as they have been here since early in the morning.

Some ANC members had this to say about the level of security in and around the conference venue.

“By the look of things we are safe. Everyone is safe. There’s police everywhere. Our cars are also safe.”

“I must say the security was good. And I take my hat for that. I have never saw so many police officers in my life. Never had fear that my phone will be snatched or something. No tsotsis around here.”

The streets near the conference venue have been closed to traffic as party supporters are expected to celebrate late into Monday night.

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