ANC Free State, North West delegates kicked out

Delegates from the Free State and North West were asked to leave the ANC’s plenary at the Mangaung conference this morning as bickering around which delegates are legitimate and which are not continued to delay the start of the party’s election process.

According to three sources there were heated discussions in the meeting as delegates from these provinces were asked to excuse themselves from the fight over credentials because it involved them.

Western Cape secretary Songezo Mjongile pushed for the motion expelling these delegates, and he was seconded by ANC Youth League acting president Ronald Lamola.

Court cases were brought in both provinces by ANC members unhappy about the way the delegations for the provinces were chosen.

Both provinces nominated President Jacob Zuma for president.

Nominations for the party’s top six positions were due to start late last night, but some provincial secretaries refused to sign off the credentials report – in which all provinces agree that the delegates at the conference are all valid.

Conference was adjourned after midnight and it was agreed that the credentials discussion, which happens in a closed session, would continue this morning.

This morning’s session started around 9am.

Disgruntled delegates yesterday wrote a letter of demand, a lawyer’s letter preceding court action, demanding that delegates from the North West and Free State be excluded from the congress.

The Constitutional Court ruled on Friday that the Free State’s provincial executive committee (PEC) was improperly elected and on Saturday the ANC disbanded the committee and replaced it with a task team.

The 20 delegates from the Free State PEC are not allowed to attend and vote at the conference, although Free State chairperson Ace Magashule is attending as an NEC delegate.

The high court last week ruled that the disputes around delegates in the North West have to be settled before the conference could go ahead.

It is unclear by when the disputes would be settled and nominations and elections would go ahead.

- Carien du Plessis and Mandy Rossouw

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