Collapsing the ANC conference will be an indictment on the party – Pule Mabe

Although the 55th ANC elective conference sitting in Nasrec, near Soweto in the south of Johannesburg, ran behind schedule, the party on Saturday was adamant things will go as planned.


Technical glitches in registration and accrediting delegates were among the reasons cited as having impacted the commencement on time of the six days political gathering.


On Saturday afternoon delegates who had been cleared for the conference were involved in a marathon closed door session. Among the deliberations were the organisational report, which gives an overview of the party.


The organisational report was presented by ruling party’s deputy president David Mabuza. It will be followed by the financial report before the crucial adoption of credentials giving green light for the delegates to begin nominations of their preferred candidates.


Party spokesperson Pule Mabe said despite the unprecedented delays and the heckling of Ramaphosa by a strong contingent of KwaZulu-Natal delegates, the conference will not collapse.


“Provincial chairperson and secretaries were instructed to appeal to delegates. If the conference can collapse, it will be an indictment on us. We have a political duty to ensure it succeeds,” Mabe said when addressing journalists on the sidelines of the conference.


More than 900 South African and international media attended the highly contested ANC elective conference where party president Cyril Ramaphosa is seeking re-election for the second term.


Former health minister Zweli Mkhize is among the leading campaigners challenging Ramaphosa while other names vying for presidency, expected to emerge from  the floor during nominations are that of tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Cooperative governance minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.


There is also fierce contestation for the part’s deputy president. Voting is expected to take place late on Saturday or early Sunday morning.

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