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South Africa: ANC Prepares to Vote on Zuma Replacement

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, centre, hugs front runner and Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, right, and President Jacob Zuma, left, at the start of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) elective conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec. 16 2017.

Thousands of delegates prepared Sunday to vote for the next leader of South Africa's ruling ANC party, a vote widely seen as a decisive moment in the country's post-apartheid politics.

Nearly 5,000 members of the African National Congress party prepared to vote in Johannesburg on a successor to party leader and President Jacob Zuma, who is stepping down amid numerous corruption scandals.

But Zuma will remain South Africa's president before nation-wide elections in 2019.

Two figures are officially in the running to replace Zuma as leader of the African National Congress, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a party stalwart and experienced diplomat who was once married to Zuma for 16 years. But others may emerge when voting begins during the weekend.

The ANC has won a majority in every national poll since the beginning of democracy in 1994, meaning the new leader is likely to be a strong presidential candidate in 2019.