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Bloemfontein - The plenary session at the ANC’s national conference in Mangaung was adjourned on Wednesday evening because of an incoming storm, the party’s secretary general Gwede Mantashe said.
"Emergency centres and disaster teams said a storm is coming," he told reporters.
"We didn’t want the media to get it from sources and speculation. We wanted to say that we have adjourned the plenary and advised all delegates to go to solid structures."
He said the storm would last for 45 minutes. Mantashe also advised the media to go to solid structures, instead of waiting in tents.
Asked in lighter vein if the storm might be the result of the ANC's ancestors being upset, Mantashe said: "Rain is a blessing. A storm is rain in a different form."
He said the storm would not affect the conference, as the report backs by policy commissions to plenary would be done at night.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said people in the Progressive Business Forum had to leave their exhibition tent.
Delegates waiting in queues to vote for the ANC’s 80 national executive committee members were also evacuated.
"We didn’t want anyone to be a victim of this Manguang storm," he said to laughter.
"It is quite a serious matter, and we would rather be safe then sorry." - Sapa