The ANC's elective conference is expected to have 5240 voting delegates, 90% of whom will be elected at properly quorate BGMs. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips
Johannesburg - ANC branches without a quorum and disruptions have been blamed for the failure to meet Sunday’s deadline to complete branch general meetings (BGMs) ahead of next month’s elective congress.

The governing party’s Free State spokesperson Thabo Meeko said the province, which is due to hold its provincial and Gariep regional conferences, has extended its BGMs to Wednesday.

He said the meetings were disrupted due to differences in interpreting guidelines issued by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.

Meeko said that by last Monday, 76% of branches in the Free State had sat for BGMs and he was hopeful that the process would be completed.

The Free State ANC is expected to support ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

ANC Free State provincial chairperson and premier, Ace Magashule, is expected to be challenged by his deputy, Thabo Manyoni.

Last week, Mantashe announced that the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) had extended the deadline for BGMs to hold their meetings by this past weekend.

Mantashe said that by last Monday, 70% of the branches had completed their BGMs.

ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Super Zuma was hopeful that they would complete their BGMs by Sunday.

He said the meetings were held on a daily basis.

”We are hoping to have a full delegation at the conference,” Zuma said.

KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC’s largest province in terms of membership, is backing Dlamini Zuma to replace President Jacob Zuma.

The ANC’s Mpumalanga spokesperson Sasekani Manzini said they were confident that the province would complete their BGMs by Sunday.

“We are left with few branches still to go,” she said.

Mpumalanga is sending the second biggest delegation to the five-day national elective conference.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said BGMs were sitting on Sunday. He was also confident that all outstanding meetings would complete the process.

The conference is expected to have 5240 voting delegates, 90% of whom will be elected at properly quorate BGMs.

Last week, the ANC’s Lower South Coast regional secretary Mzwandile Mkwanazi accused the provincial leadership of stripping the regional leadership of their powers and keeping them in the dark about the nomination process.

The regional leadership recently failed in its bid to challenge the stripping of their powers with the party’s NEC.

Mkwanazi last week said that while only 25 out of the region’s 75 branches had not managed to convene, only the provincial leadership was aware of the number of disputes lodged.

The ANC NEC established dispute resolution teams in all the provinces to timeously address and resolve disputes emanating from the nomination process.

Only audited members are allowed to vote in the nomination process or to be elected as delegates to attend the conference.

The party said this was to ensure that no one tampered with the BGMs’ quorums or their allocated branch delegations.

Dlamini Zuma will go head to head with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in the race to replace Zuma as the ANC’s president.

ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, cabinet ministers Lindiwe Sisulu and Jeff Radebe, and former Mpumalanga premier Mathews Phosa are also in the running.

Political Bureau