ANC cancels NEC meeting to mourn Mandela

The ANC cancelled its national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Friday and a national list conference scheduled for this weekend to mourn its former president, Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday night. 

"The decision to postpone these gatherings is in light of the tragedy that has befallen our country and the world, losing the father of our nation and icon of our struggle, Isithwalandwe/Seaparankoe Comrade Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela," the ANC said.

Mandela died aged 95 at his home in Johannesburg after struggling with health problems in the past few years. His health deteriorated badly in 2012 and he became the subject of much speculation. Mandela was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer in 2001 and has battled a recurring lung infection over the years.

President Jacob Zuma will lead a delegation of ANC NEC members to visit Mandela’s Houghton home on Friday to convey condolences to the family.

The ANC said new dates for the NEC meeting and list conference would be announced soon. This was supposed to be the ANC's last NEC meeting of the year before the committee convenes again on January 8 for its annual statement, as well as to celebrate the anniversary of the party, and an election manifesto launch.

The ANC was supposed to finalise for its members a list of the candidates who will represent the party at the National Assembly and in provincial legislature.

 Zuma has declared 10 days of mourning.

The ANC's six top national officials will meet on Friday with the nine provincial party leaders and alliance partners the South African Communist Party and trade union federation Cosatu to consolidate the programme of remembrance to honour Mandela that forms part of the mourning process.

A date for Mandela's state funeral has yet to be announced.

Zuma announced Mandela’s death from the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Thursday night, saying the peace icon passed away at his home surrounded by his wife Graça Machel​ and other family members. 

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Mmanaledi Mataboge
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