ANC begins voting to elect Jacob Zuma’s successor

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Delegates from the Eastern Cape during the 54th ANC National Elective Conference in Gauteng. Photo credit: SowetanVoting has begun in Gauteng, South Africa by delegates of the African National Congress(ANC) to elect a new leadership and more important, the successor to President Jacob Zuma as party leader.After initial delays over delegate accreditation, polling finally kicked off around midnight at the 54th National Congress of the party. The result will be announced on Monday afternoon, the Sowetan reported.By 6am only four provinces were still left to cast their votes. They are Eastern Cape‚ Gauteng‚ Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal. A total of 4,776 delegates will vote.Of all the six top six positions in contention, the most riveting is the contest between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for ANC presidency.The vote is perhaps the most pivotal moment for the ANC since it launched black-majority rule under Nelson Mandela’s leadership 23 years ago. With scandal and graft accusations having tainted Zuma’s presidency, the party is deeply divided and its image tarnished at home and abroad.Whoever emerges at the helm of the African National Congress, a 105-year-old liberation movement that dominates Africa’s most industrialised economy, is likely to become the country’s next president after elections in 2019.In a boost to Ramaphosa, courts ruled that officials from some provinces seen as supporting Dlamini-Zuma had been elected illegally and were barred from the conference.Ramaphosa, a former trade union leader who later became a businessman and is now one of the richest people in South Africa, has vowed to fight corruption and revitalise the economy, a message that has gone down well with foreign investors.Dlamini-Zuma pledged during her campaign to tackle the racial inequality that has persisted in South Africa since the end of white-minority rule.Ramaphosa drew the majority of nominations from party branches scattered across the country. But the complexity of the leadership race means it is far from certain he will win when the votes are finally counted.“The race is extremely close,” said Susan Booysen, a political analyst at the University of Witwatersrand’s School of Governance in Johannesburg. “Before today we said Dlamini-Zuma could emerge as a winner. Even if there is a strong lead in terms of branch nominations by the Ramaphosa camp, it’s not clear-cut.” Other contestants are: • Deputy president – David Mabuza and Lindiwe Sisulu• National chairperson – Gwede Mantashe and Nathi Mthethwa• Secretary General – Senzo Mchunu and Ace Magashule• Deputy Secretary General – Jessie Duarte and Zingiswa Losi• Treasurer General – Paul Mashatile Maite and Nkoana-Mashabane

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South Africa: Man Admitted To Johannesburg Hospital With Suspected Ebola Symptoms

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A 37-year-old South African man, working as health and safety officer in a mining operation in Liberia, was admitted to hospital on Sunday, the department of health stated.

Spokesman Joe Maila said the man arrived in the country on August 6.

“He was scanned as normal routine in accordance with screening protocols for incoming travellers at the OR Tambo International Airport,” he said in a statement.

“He was healthy on arrival and the scanner revealed no problem nor raised temperature.”

He said the man had no contact with any patients while in Liberia and he was not involved in patient care.

On August 16, the man went to his general practitioner due to fever, said Maila.

“Following on the protocols issued to all private and public practitioners and health facilities, the doctor contacted the National Institute for Communicable Diseases [NICD] to discuss the patient.”

“Based on results of the initial blood tests the decision was made to continue to monitor the patient at home and to repeat the blood tests today [Sunday],” he stated.

“His temperature increased and it was decided that he be admitted at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital for further assessment and investigations.”

He said the NICD regarded the patient as low risk for the Ebola virus disease.

“However, as a precautionary measure, given his history of working in Liberia the protocol developed for haemorrhagic fevers needed to be followed.”

He said the public would be informed of the results as they become available. The results were likely to be available on Monday.

“The country continues to be on high alert,” he stated.

On August 14, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said there were no known Ebola cases in South Africa.

A Guinea woman, suspected to have been infected with the virus, has tested negative for Ebola.

She was admitted at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital because she was in labour, she had high fever and she was screened for the virus, Motsoaledi stated.

He said many people landed from Ebola-hit West Africa without Ebola.

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