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ANC voting results being tallied

ANC delegates on Tuesday morning casted their votes for the top 6 party positions.

ROW OF LEADERS: Baleka Mbete, Kgalema Motlanthe & Jacob Zuma listen closely as nominations for the ANC's top six positions are announced on 17 December 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

Mangaung - The results of the ANC's election for its top 6 officials are expected to be announced on Tuesday following a late night of deliberations and voting.

The conference has suffered some long delays and by late Monday night there was still no indication of when the voting would start.

But delegates were told to return to their voting stations after attending commissions during the early hours of the morning.

Eyewitness News spoke to a number of delegates who said they casted their ballots and have happily shown off the bluish black ink mark on their fingers to prove it.

Voting only started at 2am.

The sticking point Tuesday night seemed to be a disagreement around whether delegates from the North West and Free State would vote on different colour ballot papers to mitigate any possible risk from future court cases.

It's unclear how that was ultimately resolved.

ZUMA SUPPORTERS

But despite ballots still being cast, Jacob Zuma's supporters spent much of the night celebrating as if he had already won.

Many gathered outside the main entrance of the University of the Free State where the conference is being held.

BATTLE LINES DRAWN

Earlier on Monday, the nomination process was finalised with the announcement of candidates for the ruling party's top six positions.

There were withdrawals by at least five candidates, with Kgalema Motlanthe declining a nomination for the post of Deputy President.

Instead, he will go head-to-head with Zuma for the ANC's top job.

Several provincial leaders were also nominated to serve on the ANC's National executive Committee (NEC).

Gauteng ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile and KwaZulu-Natal chair Zweli Mkhize will both contest for the position of Treasurer General.

Free State ANC chairperson Ace Magashule was nominated for the position of chairperson, but he told delegates he would withdraw as a candidate in favour of the incumbent Baleka Mbete.

He urged his supporters to vote for her instead.

Cyril Ramaphosa will have to fight off challenges from Mathews Phosa and Tokyo Sexwale for the position of Deputy President.

Gwede Mantashe is up against Fikile Mbalula for the powerful position of secretary general.

ANC veteran Jessie Duarte will stand unopposed for deputy secretary general.

Meanwhile, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) said it was unfazed by the resounding support Zuma received during the nomination process.

The Young Lions have actively campaigned for Motlanthe.

Acting ANCYL President Ronald Lamola said, "For us, voting is not about the clapping of hands and singing. It is about secret ballot. I think it will produce what we expect - a Motlanthe win!."

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