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Mbalula accepts Dlamini Zuma’s defeat in leadership race

Fikile Mbalula, who publicly supported Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, says he has accepted the outcome and fully supports Cyril Ramaphosa.

Fikile Mbalula is seen as he delivers a press conference on the outcomes of the commission on organisational renewal at the ANC’s 54th elective conference. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former African National Congress (ANC) NEC member Fikile Mbalula says he expects Cyril Ramaphosa’s maiden speech to quell any concerns of instability in the party and be a message not only to the party but the country.

Ramaphosa is gearing up to deliver his first speech as ANC president as the ANC’s 54th elective conference nears its end.

Mbalula, who publicly supported Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, says he has accepted the outcome and fully supports Ramaphosa.

Mbalula was one of the NEC members who publicly supported Dlamini Zuma in the run-up to the conference and even tweeted the only thing that could stop Dlamini Zuma from winning would be anarchy and fraud.

Now, Mbalula says he and the rest of the party have accepted the election of Ramaphosa and he thinks much positivity has come from him emerging as the new party president.

“The positivity around him being elected should be sustained. He will grasp what the congress has decided and rise above. Everybody must understand that he’s the president (sic).”

He also says he expects Ramaphosa’s maiden speech to reassure the country of stability in the ANC.

“And then respond to issues that might be pertinent in relations to fears of people that our agenda going forward is to unite the organisation. And that he will work with everybody to unite the ANC and I think that’s the direction that he’ll take given the tensions from where we started (sic).”

It’s still unsure what time Ramaphosa will be delivering the closing address, but it is expected sometime on Tuesday evening.

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