Outcry over 'ghosts and girlfriends' at ANC Eastern Cape conference

2017-09-30 14:33
Andile Lungisa. (Supplied)

Andile Lungisa. (Supplied)

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Johannesburg - Delegates at the ANC's Eastern Cape elective conference have cried foul over the registration process, with claims of unauthorised members being allowed to participate in the event.

The second day of the conference started with some alleged delegates being barred from entering the International Convention Centre in East London. 

The party was demanding that all delegates produce identity documents before entering the venue, and some claimed that they had no ID cards. 

Tightening security

Security at the gates to the venue were bolstered with police.

ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) member Mlibo Qoboshiyane explained to journalists that the intense security was due to clashes between delegates on Friday night. 

Members of the ANC who allegedly arrived without tags on Friday forced their way into the venue's hall.

The members who were apparently supporters of ANC provincial chair Phumulo Masualle clashed with delegates who supported outgoing secretary Oscar Mabuyane. 

READ: Masualle supporters disrupt first day of ANC Eastern Cape conference

The situation led to the deployment of police. 

ANC PEC member, Andile Lungisa, who was alleged to have been part of the team that instigated the incident, accused Mabuyane's office of inviting "friends and girlfriends" as part of the delegation. 

"We must never invite our own friends, our own girlfriends... [to] the conference of the ANC. We have mandated the NEC (National Executive Committee) to clean up, but the reality of the situation is that people who were taken out by the NEC [during the clashes] - they are inside, they were given tags," he claimed. 

Lungisa warned that should the situation persist, they will be forced to act.

1700 vs 4000

He claimed that about 1700 delegates were accredited for the conference yet about 4000 delegates had gained entry to the conference on Friday.

"Fraudulent people have been registered ... That thing must be corrected. Now we have been smiling, we have been given that office a number of opportunities to correct this fraudulent activity. Now we are running out of patience," he said.

Qoboshiyane however painted a rosier picture of the situation saying that the committee that was dealing with credentials of delegates was fully compliant.

He said some branches were accredited late.

He could not say how long the conference would last.

The event was scheduled to start at 09:00 however at around 13:30, delegates were still making their way into the venue. 

"I don't want to be in a blame game now, we are [implementing] corrective measure[s] to ensure that we are sitting [in] this conference properly."

Taking a closer look

NEC delegate Lindiwe Zulu said that they were now looking thoroughly at verification.

"Everyone who will gain entry to the venue, must have a tag as well as their ID documents because we don't want to see what happened yesterday (Friday) [happen again]."

Zulu said the NEC was happy with the progress of the conference, adding that the credibility of the event was hinged on the management of processes according to the party's constitution. 

Addressing a delegation from OR Tambo region on the sidelines of the conference, one member, Mluleki Ndlelanga, said if the number of delegates was over 1000, the conference could not proceed. 

"We cannot allow anything. We can't allow people who are ghosts to participate in this conference... This conference is for the delegates who were elected in a BGM (Branch General Meeting). If that is not happening, there is no conference," he said. 

Read more on:    phumulo masualle  |  lindiwe zulu  |  andile lungisa  |  eastern cape  |  politics

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