Ace Magashule scoffs at the idea that Ramaphosa 'saved the ANC' in polls

10 May 2019 - 17:15 By Kgothatso Madisa and Neo Goba
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule at the Results Operation Centre in Tshwane on May 10 2019.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule at the Results Operation Centre in Tshwane on May 10 2019.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo/Sunday Times

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has dismissed comments that the party was rescued by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the 2019 national and provincial elections.

Magashule, speaking during a news conference at the IEC national results operations centre in Pretoria, said supporters voted for the party, not an individual.

Asked about comments made by ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula that the party may have lost the elections had Ramaphosa not emerged as party president at the 2017 Nasrec conference, Magashule said: "That's nonsense. People are electing the ANC. It's not about any individual. How do you predict? Is comrade Mbalula saying I was not going to be part of the campaign if the leader was somebody else?"

Magashule said that the ANC would have still received the same results which, at the time of his media briefing, saw the ANC sitting at 57% with about 90% of all voting districts declared.

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"The ANC would be where it is today. People have voted the ANC. People are not voting any person."

Mbalula said on Thursday that if Ramaphosa had not won at the party's 2017 Nasrec conference, the ANC would have sunk to 40% in these elections.

Meanwhile, Magashule blamed the bad weather in the Free State which continued until  well after midnight for the low turnout of voters.

"Have you seen what the weather has done in the Free State?" asked Magashule, who was at the helm of the party in the province for 22 years.

"We are not the IEC, we could not have extended the voting hours. Even if we could extend the hours in parts of the Free State, it rained until well after midnight," said Magashule.

With about 90% of all voting districts already declared by Friday afternoon, the IEC looks set to declare all stations later on Friday.

- SowetanLIVE

As South Africans await the results of the national and provincial government elections, we take you through everything you need to know. From alleged 'double voting', to who the winners and losers might be...this is all you need to know about #Elections2019