Sexwale suffers humiliating defeat

2012-06-26 15:42
Human Settlements Minister and presidential hopeful Tokyo Sexwale has suffered a humiliating defeat when delegates at the ANC policy conference rejected him. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Human Settlements Minister and presidential hopeful Tokyo Sexwale has suffered a humiliating defeat when delegates at the ANC policy conference rejected him. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Human Settlements Minister and presidential hopeful Tokyo Sexwale suffered a humiliating defeat when delegates at the ANC policy conference rejected him.

In the opening session of the conference on Tuesday Sexwale intervened in a discussion on conference rules led by ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete.

While Sexwale was talking delegates started getting rowdy and drowned him out.

Eventually a delegate from Limpopo told him the rules were adopted by the ANC's NEC of which Sexwale is a member.

Mbete agreed with the delegate and an embarrassed Sexwale had to sit down.

The issue that Sexwale raised related to the singing of songs at the conference.

Sexwale wanted to point out that songs about specific leaders are prohibited but delegates continued songs about President Jacob Zuma.

“The rules here say the singing of derogatory songs are not allowed, but what about songs that are in my favour?” Sexwale told the plenary.

A Sexwale sympathiser said he was trying to point out the double standards in the application of the rules.

“You can't violate conference rules in front of your own eyes. If you don’t speak out now, we might as well go back to the death cells.”

City Press understands the ruling will be discussed at a post-conference NEC meeting.

Detractors of Sexwale said he was trying to be a "big man".

Said another: "This is not The Apprentice. This is not a reality TV show. Tokyo is out of touch with reality."

Even some of Sexwale's sympathisers said it was a stupid move, because Sexwale had little support on the floor.

Sexwale's move follows Zuma’s opening speech, in which he emphasised party unity.

When he took to the podium, Sexwale deferentially said: "I feel small speaking after the president."

The incident can be seen as a barometer for Sexwale's support at the conference. If the reaction of delegates is anything to go by, he will have an uphill battle to secure the presidency.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  baleka mbete  |  tokyo sexwale  |  mangaung 2012  |  politics

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