Outgoing ANC chairwoman Baleka Mbete starts proceedings at Nasrec conference on Saturday. PHOTO: Getrude Makhafola/ANA

Johannesburg  - The African National Congress (ANC) has finally kicked off at Nasrec, Johannesburg, on Saturday, hours after it was scheduled to begin.

Delegates made their way to plenary hall and then broke into song as they waited for outgoing party chairperson Baleka Mbete to start proceedings. 

"Anything divisive, comrades, will not be allowed in this conference," Mbete told the thousands of delegates.

Outgoing national chair Baleka Mbete calls on the interfaith church leaders to start the prayers. "Lizalise idinga lakho" is the song opening the conference. Picture: Siviwe Feketha

She opened the conference by calling on the interfaith church leaders to come and pray. "Lizalise idinga lakho" was the song opened the conference.

ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete gets the elective conference underway in Johannesburg on Saturday. PHOTO: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA

The conference was delayed as the national executive committee (NEC) held an impromptu meeting to iron out the contentious court judgments.

Read: Bojanala decision 'was to avoid to putting ANC conference at risk'

The NEC decided to exclude KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and North West’s Bojanala district, whose leadership had to deal with court challenges brought by disgruntled members, from voting at the conference.

Also read: #ANC54: Leadership battle played out in song

The hotly contested conference will end Wednesday.

African News Agency and IOL