The ANC in Gauteng was forced to adjourn its provincial conference before the finalisation of the programme on Monday morning due to the exhaustion of delegates and a lack of funds to book an extra day of accommodation, food and beverages.
Delegates spent three sleepless nights discussing party policies and credentials, nominations and voting for the new leadership as debates continued throughout the weekend.
After the announcement on Monday morning of the top five positions led by MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi, who defeated Lebogang Maile by 32 votes, delegates nominated additional members, but a decision was taken not to vote due to the fatigue of delegates.
Lesufi received 575 votes, while Maile managed to get 543.
The announcement of the top five results also opened the wounds of the 19 quarantined Ekurhuleni votes from five branches.
ANC acting secretary-general Paul Mashatile played down the importance of the quarantined votes, arguing that it would be dealt with by the national dispute resolution committee.
But, some disgruntled delegates started talking about the impact the votes would have on three positions, including the secretary position, if the national dispute resolution committee ruled in the favour of the branches. Thembinkosi Nciza, who received 534 votes, defeated Thulani Kunene, who got 525, by nine votes.
The quarantined votes will also have a great impact on the deputy secretary position, in which Tasneem Motara got 557 votes while Nomathemba Mokhethi got 552.
The position of provincial treasurer will also be affected as Morakane Mosupyoe got 556 votes against Paul Mojapelo, who got 555.
The party announced that voting for additional members would continue at a specially convened provincial general council over the weekend.
The new leadership bears more women representatives with three women – deputy chairperson Nomantu Nkom-Ralehoko, deputy secretary Motara and treasurer Mosupyoe – in the top positions.
The conference, which was held in Benoni in the east of Johannesburg, was marred by delays and allegations of bogus delegates, which cast doubts on the credentials.
Following the resolution of the credentials in the early hours of Sunday morning, the conference proceeded with nominations and voting.
After the announcement of the results, Maile, who accepted the results, congratulated Lesufi and also pledged to work with the new leadership for the benefit of the party. He also discouraged people from using his name to divide the ANC.
“It was a fierce contest where we all gave our best. In the end, only one winner was going to emerge and comrade Lesufi won. I am now behind the new leadership and the bigger battle is for us to be united and start working towards the 2024 elections. Maile said:
Lesufi was thankful to the majority who showed confidence in him to lead. He attributed the contest to the benefits of democracy. He also sent a message of gratitude to Maile for running a good campaign.