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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

#ANC54: Delegates expected to nominate party leaders

According to ANC's deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, the conference delegates have been reduced from just over 5000 to 4776.

Any of the remaining six ANC presidential candidates who obtain at least 2389 votes in the current race for the top spot, will be announced as the new president of the 105-year old organisation.

ANC deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte says the conference delegates have been reduced from just over 5000 to 4776. This after the party was forced to review its delegation numbers due to the recent rulings by high courts in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and North West.

Subsequently ANC had to the bar the party’s PECs from KwaZulu-Natal and Free State and several branch members from North West Bojanala region from participating in the conference.

However KZN provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala, was allowed to attend the conference despite the Pietermaritzburg court ruling against him and his PEC, because he is said to be a branch a delegate and not representing the PEC.

Besides the total 54 provincial executive committee (PEC) members from KZN and Free State that were excluded from the conference due to court rulings, at least several branches in North West’s Bojanala region were disqualified from participating in the conference.

The conference credentials were adopted after hours of heated debate due to disagreements over who qualified to attend.

Duarte also announced that the nominations for the office-bearers will begin this afternoon or in the evening and later in the night voting would begin.

The office-bearers would be nominated and later elected this evening. These are the positions of the president, deputy president, national chairperson, secretary-general, deputy secretary-general and treasurer general. Two deputy secretary positions are proposed and this was likely to be agreed to by the conference.

Duarte said the results for the office-bearer elections would be announced tomorrow morning. Presidential candidate Baleka Mbete, who is the Parliamentary speaker, has bowed out of the race in favour of Cyril Ramaphosa. She said she supported Ramaphosa because he espoused unity of the ANC.

Besides the election of the top officials, the conference was expected this afternoon or evening to adopt party constitutional changes that include expansion of office bearer positions. It will also deal with the tabling of the report by secretary general, Gwede Mantashe and discuss organisational renewal.



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