18/12/2017 16:35 SAST | Updated 22/12/2017 10:25 SAST

Who Is The Iconic Woman Who Always Knows The ANC President Before The Rest Of Us?

You've probably seen her, and her experienced colleagues, reveal the names of many incoming ANC presidents since the '90s.

City Press

You've probably seen her announcing the results of many an elective conference for the ANC, and wondered who's the woman with the winning numbers.

When Dren Nupen -- along with Bontle Mpakanyane and Ncedisa Mthenjwa -- walks on-stage, you know it's time to crown the ANC's new king (or, potentially in 2017, new queen).

These three women who run the ANC election have over 60 years' experience in managing elections, both political and nonpolitical. It's not surprising, then, that they are able to keep their cool and maintain calm among sometimes tetchy and anxious ANC delegates every half-decade.

Bontle Mpakanyane (L), Dren Nupen (M), and Ncedisa Mthenja (R)

The EleXions Agency, through which they manage the ANC's voting process, is self-described as the country's "most experienced elections facilitator", established after its founding members were contracted to manage the ANC's 52nd National Conference in Polokwane, 2007.

But they've been involved in the elections process for much longer, some since the 1990s.

Nupen, arguably the 'iconic' face of the ANC's election results in past, is also former Executive Director of the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa and partner of Charles who -- in the 1990s -- was a commissioner of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) assisting in the oversight of the country's first democratic election.

Mpakanyane, who started under the aegis of the Independent Mediation Services of South Africa (IMSSA), has over two decades of election experience. According to her bio, she played a "pivotal role in the establishment of the independent conflict management panels during the 1999 National Elections" among other accolades.

Ncedisa Mthenjwa, meanwhile, is a logistics guru with well over 20 years election and mediation experience. She told HuffPost that she's been "having sleepless nights for weeks" ahead of the ANC's 2017 conference and that it's "important to know the rules of the road".

The ANC's National Conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg, is the latest addition to the list of leadership transformations they've witnessed first-hand:

NASREC 2017: