/ 20 December 2011

Results of ANC Limpopo elections delayed

Voting for the 20 ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) positions in Limpopo were still underway on Tuesday morning.

The election agency was expected to make an announcement between 8am and 9am, but it emerged that counting and verification had not yet been concluded. Results would be announced only later in the day.

Suspended ANC Youth League president Julius Malema was among 40 candidates nominated to serve on the PEC.

He and members of his youth executive were suspended two months ago by the ANC’s national disciplinary committee for sowing division and bringing the ANC into disrepute.

Newly elected provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane told reporters that Malema had every right to occupy leadership positions in the ANC because he remained a member of the party.

Lekganyane said in the event the appeals committee ruled against Malema, the PEC would take note, but that at the moment he was a member nominated democratically.

Malema’s election was widely expected despite concerns from some delegates who expressed outrage over his possible inclusion in the ruling party’s provincial leadership.

They questioned the constitutionality of Malema’s nomination and inclusion.

It is believed that the re-election of Malema’s key ally, Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale, as provincial ANC chairman, has given the youth leader a political lifeline and base from which he can mount a comeback.

Earlier this year Malema joked that he did not want a job in government.

Speaking at the University of the Western Cape, Malema said he had no desire to go into Parliament or become a minister.

While the elections agency continued with its work, delegates discussed conference declarations in a closed session at the University of Limpopo’s Turfloop campus, where the provincial elective conference is taking place.

Voting delegates and the new leadership will deliberate on policy positions mooted in commissions on Monday on the province’s socio-economic programmes.

Mathale, who managed to retain his position amidst a heated battle at the polls with arts and culture deputy minister Joe Phaahla, will wrap up the conference by presenting the conference declarations.

Phaahla has reportedly said the elections were marred by irregularities, but this has been denied by Mathale’s camp.

Lekganyane and Mathale himself said the outcome was given the green light by 13 ANC national executive committee members.

‘If there was anything untoward [during the verification of credentials] we would not have continued with the second round of elections,” he said.

A rally is planned at the Oscar Mpetha sporting facility at the university, to mark the last day of the conference. — Sapa