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As vote counting continues, Mkhize denies cutting any deals

The ANC has confirmed that the counting of ballots is underway.

Zweli Mkhize chats with President Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa during the nominations process at the ANC's national conference on 17 December 2017. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - As vote counting continues at the ANC’s 54th national conference, officials are dealing with a few last minute ballots from delegates who weren’t able to make their mark with their provincial blocs.

This follows the confusion caused on Sunday night when it was announced that voting would stop and resume on Monday.

The decision was rescinded two hours later after delegates demanded the process continue through the night.

The ANC has confirmed that the counting of ballots is underway, but some delegates are still being allowed to vote because they may have not been with their provinces when voting unexpectedly started in the early hours of Monday morning.

It is understood that some members had already gone home after the initial announcement by the electoral commission that voting would only begin at 6am.

Earlier, Eyewitness News reported that Gauteng delegates, who were the last to vote, were already done voting.

With vote counting underway, the ANC could announce its new leadership today. So far, the processes have continued without any reported disruption, but the vote for the NEC is also still expected to take place after the announcement of the top six.

UNITY

Meanwhile, outgoing ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize has denied speculation that he's endorsed a particular presidential candidate, saying he hasn't cut a deal with anyone.

Mkhize withdrew his name from the list of candidates vying for the position of deputy president.

Zweli Mkhize says his decision to withdraw from the leadership race followed conversations between provincial and national leaders about how best to unify the party.

“I’ve been in discussion with a number of leaders to see what we can do to build unity, in order to unite the ANC. It should not be about who emerges but rather about what’s the best deal for the ANC.”

Mkhize says in his view, unity is about emerging from this conference with a stronger ANC.

Mkhize is still in the running for a position on the national executive committee.

Follow EWN's live blog for all the latest developments on the ANC's national conference.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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