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Showdown over SG votes looming at ANC conference

In a surprise outcome on Monday night, Free State Premier Ace Magashule snatched the post from Senzo Mchunu by just 24 votes.

Ace Magashule (R) after the announcement of the ANC's new top 6 on 18 December 2017. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A showdown is looming at the African National Congress's (ANC) national conference on Tuesday afternoon where there may be a call for the recount of votes cast for the position of secretary-general.

In a surprise outcome on Monday night, Free State Premier Ace Magashule snatched the post from Senzo Mchunu by just 24 votes.

But Mchunu's supporters are claiming more than 60 votes cast were not counted.

The steering committee running the ANC's conference has been trying to resolve this dispute behind the scenes.

But Mchunu's supporters seem set on raising it in a plenary session on Tuesday afternoon.

The dispute is set to be laid before delegates at a plenary session scheduled to start at 6 pm on Wednesday evening.

It's unclear whether or not a political solution has been found; if not, there could be fireworks in the plenary.

University of Johannesburg’s politics professor Mcebisi Ndletyana says there's a principle at stake here.

“In this case it’s very clear, if votes were not counted, you decide on the principle of materiality. The 68 votes only change the outcome of the SG position and in fact, there is no need to recount because you are clear that there are 68 votes.”

If that happens, North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has said that he has a mandate to call for a re-run of the entire vote for the top six.

Monday night's leadership results were hailed as a win for unity but it's clear that there is still contestation there.

WATCH: #ANC54: Will there be a vote recount?

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)