ANC conference off to late start

2012-12-16 11:06

Two hours after the scheduled starting time the ANC was still putting the finishing touches to its congress plenary marquee at the University of the Free State’s main campus in Bloemfontein.

Strict security greeted delegates and guests as they arrived this morning, with bags being scanned through X-ray scanners twice and tags being checked at least at five security points before arriving in the plenary tent.

The R15 million tent is so big that it had to be imported, housing the 4 500 delegates and a number of guests.

Delegates clad in ANC T-shirts of various colours patiently lined up outside the scanners outside the marquee and again at the doors to get in.

The T-shirts were general ANC T-shirts as those bearing the faces of leaders had been banned.

Journalists were initially allowed in, but at some point they were denied access because those in charge of media had changed their minds.

It was not immediately clear who had made the decision.

Inside the hall are chairs and tables with provinces all sitting with their own delegations.

There is also space for the leagues right in front of the stage. Unlike in Polokwane, chairs had been set up inside the marquee for journalists.

There was, however, confusion about whether the media would be immediately allowed in the hall or not.

Meanwhile singing could be heard from inside the tent as delegates waited for the conference to start.

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