ANC conference starts - almost 2 hours late

2012-06-26 11:02
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Delegates arrive for ANC conference

2012-06-26 11:40

An hour after it was due to start, delegates were still streaming into Gallagher Estate, in Midrand, for the ANC's policy conference. The conference was due to start at 09:00 but by 10:00 delegates, were still in the queue to enter the hall.WATCH

Johannesburg - An hour after it was due to start, delegates were still streaming into Gallagher Estate, in Midrand, for the ANC's policy conference.

The conference was to have opened at 09:00, but by 10:00 delegates, were still in the queue to enter the hall.

Eventually, just before 11:00 President Jacob Zuma started his opening address.

Among the delegates queuing was axed police commissioner Bheki Cele, wearing his signature hat. Early arrivals included Gauteng ANC leader Paul Mashatile, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale and National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel.

Singing songs

Sexwale sat on the stage chatting to ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The Eastern Cape ANC broke into song and soon the hall was awash with whistles and harmonies. Delegates from the various provinces competed with different songs.

North West delegates sang: "We'll take Zuma up to Mangaung... There is no problem." Jeff Radebe, Baleka Mbete and Mathews Phosa sang along.

ANC members from KwaZulu-Natal belted out: "Those who burn t-shirts with Zuma's face on will be shot."

Other delegates sang to the national executive committee members seated on the stage: "It is Zuma, they have never seen him, they don't know him."

Free State and Limpopo members were quiet.

More than 3 500 delegates expected

Most delegates wore dark jackets and jerseys instead of the traditional yellow party T-shirts.
The proceedings will last four days.

The main hall was decked out in the ANC's green, gold and black, and the party's flag.

Over 3 500 delegates are expected. They comprise branch representatives, national executive committee members, the ANC's leagues, its alliance partners, deployees, and business representatives.
The opening speeches will be followed by a closed plenary session.

Inputs will be received on Tuesday on three of the ANC's main policy documents: organisational renewal, strategy and tactics, and state intervention in the mining sector. The national development plan and commission guidelines would also be discussed.

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