Ace Magashule is led to the stage after announced as the new ANC Secretary General during the 54th ANC National Elective Conference held at Nasrec on 18 December 2018.

Supporters of ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa are to raise alleged irregularities over the election of secretary-general Ace Magashule at the plenary session of the party’s national conference on Tuesday.

The Ramaphosa camp was shocked by Magashule’s election. The party’s electoral agency announced on Monday night that Magashule had beaten former KwaZulu-Natal chairman Senzo Mchunu to the post by a mere 24 votes.

Business Day reported on Tuesday that Mchunu had, in the first count, won the position, but head of elections and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma backer Nomvula Mokonyane had demanded a recount of the position twice.

After the second recount, Magashule had emerged on top.

Mokonyane issued a statement late on Monday night saying allegations were made that she had delayed the finalisation of the election outcomes through a demand for a recount in her capacity as ANC head of elections, among others.

She denied the allegations, saying they were an attempt to create divisions by those opposed to the "unity" that ANC branches demonstrated in the election outcomes.

"Allegations of manipulation of delegates by myself have been disproved. I have also at no point involved myself nor participated in the work of the electoral commission, and as such allegations that I requested a recount are false and misleading," she said in the statement.

Free State delegates loyal to Magashule, while the second recount was under way, were unhappy and could be heard threatening court action if their candidate failed to win the top spot, sources in the plenary session said.

Magashule would have been out in the cold had he not been elected secretary-general, since a court set aside his appointment as Free State chairman a day before the elective conference kicked off.

On Tuesday morning, Ramaphosa backers were preparing to raise the issue in the plenary session after meeting their election observers to get a clear sense of what had happened during the count.

This article first appeared on BusinessLIVE