Whatever the outcome of the scurry of voting and recounting at Nasrec was going to be, there was, at least for the country, and indeed the ANC, a sense that a detrimental and tempestuous chapter was finally closing.
It wasn’t just about Jacob Zuma taking his first curtain call before a deeply divided audience, but rather clearing the storm that has bedevilled and threatened to sink the ruling party during his divisive and turbulent presidency.
Social media – as is its wont – may have carried the anticipated wave of asinine commentary, but the meme denoting the “end of an error” rang tellingly true.
That doesn’t mean there is plain sailing ahead for Cyril Ramaphosa. Far from it.
Many – within its ranks and even its detractors – may see his succession as an opportunity for the ANC to reinvent itself.
A chance to somehow recapture the solidity, unity and credentials of liberator and server of the people which swept it to power almost a quarter of a century ago.
But the ANC remains an organisation of factions and internecine wheeling and dealing as evidenced by the bartering and pact-sealing machinations which won Ramaphosa his long soughtafter place in the hot seat.
He has as his deputy in David Mabuza a man from the opposing camp and among the remainder of the top six, exists a fair amount of Zuma baggage.
The new president of the party consequently has his work cut out for him – renovation, reformation and a thorough spring-cleaning with the arduous task of eradicating corruption being among the priorities.
As a political stalwart who once deftly used his position in the National Union of Mineworkers to galvanise resistance in the apartheid era, he has qualification and persuasiveness.
But what he lacks is time. And with only 18-odd months before his party is again tested at the polls, the clock is ticking.