Cape Town - ANC Eastern Cape convenor Oscar Mabuyane says the provincial conference getting under way this weekend is not a battlefield.
He urged delegates on Friday to calm down and look forward to the work ahead.
He said ANC members have a responsibility to ensure that the conference proceeds well.
Mabuyane said the provincial conference has attracted national interest and some of the ANC members behaved as if this was a national conference.
The time for the national conference will come and pass.
“We are not coming into an ANC meeting as if we are getting into a battlefield. We condemn these rapacious behaviours that we see, they are not supposed to be there. People must look forward to an ANC meeting,” said Mabuyane.
He said the ANC was a democratic organisation and people were free to elect the leaders they wanted.
People assume responsibility once they are elected into office, he said.
He urged delegates to remain calm and focus on the conference.
The provincial conference has drawn a national interest, he said, adding that some were already behaving as if it was already a national conference.
“We know it has drawn national interest. It’s a precursor to the national conference. Others are seeing the national conference in the provincial conference. Already people are thinking about what will be happening in the next six months in December. They see that here,” said Mabuyane.
Mabuyane is vying for the top job in the province with former provincial treasurer Babalo Madikizela.
More than 1 500 delegates are expected to take part in the provincial conference.
The ruling party had initially set it up in April, but it was postponed due to some outstanding issues.
They then set it down for this weekend.
Madikizela had earlier called for his supporters not to back down.
He said this would be the most significant conference of the ANC in the Eastern Cape.