ANC Mangaung conference takes off with singing and dancing

Singing and dancing was the order of the day at the Mangaung conference(Delwyn Verasamy)

Singing and dancing was the order of the day at the Mangaung conference(Delwyn Verasamy)

The ANC's national election conference has gotten off to a slow start as delegates trickled into the conference venue at the University of Free State.

In true ANC tradition, song and dance was the order of the day on Sunday. Unlike Polokwane in 2007, the Mangaung conference saw delegates sing in support of Jacob Zuma's re-election to the ANC presidency – outnumbering pro-change delegates who want to see Kgalema Motlanthe replacing Zuma.

Delegates from the Free State and parts of Limpopo led an onslaught through song against the pro-change supporters.

The hall erupted with Zuma chants as soon as chairperson Baleka Mbete announced that the president was about to arrive.

"When you're like this before he walks in, what about when he's already here?" asked Mbete.

Around 4 500 delegates are meeting in Mangaung in a week-long process to review ANC policies, check progress on the implementation of 2007 policies and elect new leadership to be at the helm for the next five years.

Zuma is scheduled to deliver his political report, followed by secretary general Gwede Mantashe's organisational report. These two reports are expected to give the leaders' view on the state of the ANC.

An announcement will be made later today about those who have accepted the nomination to contest for the ANC's top six leadership positions, with Zuma expected to defend his position.

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