20/12/2017 17:50 SAST | Updated 20/12/2017 17:50 SAST

Ramaphosa Says Missing 68 Must Not Threaten Conference

"What we must do is protect the integrity of this conference."

REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

ANC president Cyril Ramphosa has urged members of the party and the media not to allow the national conference to degenerate over the "missing 68" issue.

What we must do is protect the integrity of this conference.Cyril Ramaphosa

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Ramphosa, speaking in a video shared by News24, said: "Nearly everyone has an explanation. We met briefly with three or four officials, and we felt what we must do is protect the integrity of this conference.

"We must not allow the conference to degenerate into controversy and huge legal suits that will nullify the results we came up with."

Rogan Ward / Reuters
REUTERS/Rogan Ward

This comes after Ace Magashule narrowly beat Senzo Mchunu by a mere 24 votes. However, although the total number of voting delegates attending the conference was 4,776, only 4,708 votes were counted. The remaining 68 votes do not appear to have been counted.

"I have no doubt that the majority of members want an ANC that subscribes to the values that are set out in our constitution", Ramaphosa said.

News24 also confirmed that Free State premier Ace Magashule was to remain ANC secretary-general despite the voting dispute.