New ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa hugged his opponent, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as she conceded the race on Monday evening.
Ramaphosa won by 179 votes more than Dlamini-Zuma, who had received 2,261 votes.
Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza won the deputy presidency of the party by a landslide, gaining 2,538 votes.
His opponent, Lindiwe Sisulu, fell short by more than 300 votes, receiving 2,159 votes at the national conference held at Nasrec, Johannesburg.
Mabuza’s victory caused a celebratory frenzy among his supporters from his home province, Mpumalanga.
Former ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe will remain in the top six after he won the position of national chairperson.