The uncompleted registration of delegates for the ANC Eastern Cape’s conference and disputes over the number of delegates have delayed the start of the gathering at the international convention centre in East London.
The conference was due to begin on Friday morning, but was delayed as branches still had not yet arrived in East London from across the province. The highly contested conference is expected to see Eastern Cape provincial chairperson Phumulo Masualle defend his position in a leadership contest against the party’s Eastern Cape secretary Oscar Mabuyane. On Friday afternoon, the two leaders’ supporters were gathered in different parts of the city, and were equally confident of emerging victorious in the election contest.
A host of ANC national executive committee members including Bheki Cele, Lindiwe Zulu and Jackson Mthembu had already arrived for the gathering. At the registration centre, supporters of the two front runners proudly displayed their branded T-shirts with slogans supporting their preferred leader.
The conference is due to begin with the adoption of the credentials report, which will set out how many delegates will take part in proceedings and vote for the new leadership. The nomination of leadership is expected to follow soon after the credentials have been adopted.