- The ANC Eastern Cape elective conference has reached a stalemate.
- Delegates supporting a key electoral contender have resorted to song and dance to delay proceedings.
- The conference has been delayed since it started on Friday.
The ANC Eastern Cape elective conference is at a stalemate after the supporters of a key electoral contender, Babalo Madikizela, refused to allow for the adoption of credentials.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe, however, remains confident the conference will not collapse.
On Sunday, Mabe addressed a media briefing amid the shambolic proceedings of the conference.
“We are quite comfortable with where matters are. We are also confident that, by the time the conference rises, we will have been able to produce a leadership that will be able to discharge its mandate to make the Eastern Cape stronger.
“People are singing about their respective candidates, and it is like that. There is no indication to suggest to us that the conference is collapsing,” he said.
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Mabe refused to answer questions about former Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa’s involvement in the conference.
Delegates aligned to Madikizela, who is the former provincial treasurer, have raised allegations about ghost delegates and issues about those attending the conference.
Lungisa, who is vying for the treasurer position on Madikizela’s slate, told delegates they would object to adopting credentials.
Madikizela’s supporters kept to their plan on Sunday afternoon by stalling the conference through songs, and reiterating previous concerns about branches with questionable memberships.
Lungisa denied that Madikizela’s supporters were attempting to collapse the conference. He said they were raising genuine concerns about the manipulation of membership.
“All the regions who pronounce us in this region, there is no person that complains about manipulation. Where there is manipulation institutionalised… it is in OR Tambo, Chris Hani [and] people are complaining in Buffalo City Metro,” Lungisa said.
The regions mentioned by Lungisa indicated they would back Oscar Mabuyane for a second term.
“We cannot allow, in a meeting of the ANC, where people are not given a space to speak. What needs to happen now is we need to clean the manipulation. No one wants the conference to collapse. What we will not allow is manipulation,” he said.
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Delegates, who support Mabuyane, believe Madikizela’s camp is intent on collapsing the conference because they do not have enough votes to ensure a win for their preferred slate.
On Saturday, debates went on for hours over credentials and ensuring those inside the venue were registered.
ANC NEC member and delegate to the conference, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, told a media briefing that proceedings would proceed, despite any hiccups.