The number of votes a camp would need has gotten lower, as the stakes are getting higher - and it's probably Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa who is smiling again after this round as the ANC's 54th national conference gets off the ground. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
As credentials have been adopted and the number of votes needed to win the presidency has dropped by 489 from 2,879 to 2,389. While it is difficult to say which camps the majority of the "lost" 981 candidates belong to, it's possible to look at provincial figures to try and hazard a guess as to where things might be standing as the conference finally gets under way.
At least 54 of the delegates are from the KwaZulu-Natal and Free State provincial executive committees, which have been disqualified from voting at the gathering because the conferences where they were originally elected have been botched. These two provinces were amongst the biggest campaigners for ANC MP Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
On top of that, branches in an entire region in the North West - majority Dlamini Zuma supporters - as well as 17 in the Free State - ditto - have been disqualified. Deputy secretary general Jessie...