ANC Limpopo: Delegates ‘have been invaded by hooligans’

2012-12-01 07:27

“Hooligans” disrupted the Limpopo ANC’s nomination conference in Polokwane, provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane has said.

“Delegates have been invaded by hooligans,” he said last night.

“The situation is potentially dangerous.”

Tweeted journalist Hajra Omarjee before 12am: “People wearing President Jacob Zuma T-shirts storm ANC’s Limpopo conference causing the nomination conference to collapse.”

Shortly before midnight, Zuma's supporters demanded that conference begins, Sipho Masondo reports. When the provincial leaders who were there tried to reason with them, violence broke out.

They overturned tables, hurled coffee mugs, glasses and chairs at Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe's supporters. They broke the tables and spilled food on the floors. The glass doors to the conference room were cracked.

Security officials had to escort IEC officials out of the venue through back doors.

The conference was supposed to have started on Friday morning with registration at 8am. Proceedings were delayed because of problems with verification of delegates. By 6pm only two of Limpopo’s five regions had been verified.

Earlier this week, the province had to postpone its nomination conference at the last minute to allow branches to complete their general meetings. They were given until Friday to do this.

This was also the deadline, set by the ANC’s national executive committee, for nominations.

Limpopo’s regions differed in their nomination of who should lead the party for the next five years. Some wanted President Jacob Zuma to retain his position while others wanted deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe to take the reins.

The ANC holds its national elective conference in Mangaung next month.

Four names have emerged as favourites for deputy president. Provinces calling for a second term for Zuma have endorsed Motlanthe or NEC member Cyril Ramaphosa as deputy president.

Those who wanted Zuma replaced, backed Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale or ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa.

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