An ANC supporter holds a flag of the ANC while the President Jacob Zuma addresses ANC Gauteng Cadre Assembly in Pretoria. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Johannesburg - The ANC's OR Tambo region in the Eastern Cape will resume its elective conference this weekend, a party official said on Friday.

“The conference will go ahead. It's starting tomorrow - Saturday -,” provincial spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane said.

“We want the conference to elect leadership.”

He said reports had been adopted at the region's first conference and there would be no time for commissions.

“By Sunday we want to conclude the conference.”

He said the provincial executive committee had appointed a committee to keep an eye on proceedings.

African National Congress leaders in the Eastern Cape took control of the OR Tambo region earlier this month after its regional conference was adjourned before new leaders could be elected. There were allegations that membership figures were inflated, and that there were several “ghost” delegates.

The electoral commission at the conference discovered that votes were cast by 591 delegates, instead of the 587 adopted by the plenary. The PEC adjourned the conference afterwards.

Unnamed sources in the conference reportedly said earlier regional chair Thandekile Sabisa defeated his challenger William Ngozi by 296 votes to 295.

Sabisa was allegedly pushing for a change in the national leadership, while Ngozi was allegedly part of group lobbying for a second term for President Jacob Zuma.

The ANC in the Eastern Cape met on Wednesday to decide whether the region should resume its conference. Qoboshiyane said all committees dealing with logistics would finalise all arrangements on Friday.

“Delegates will start arriving today and tomorrow,” he said.

Earlier this week Qoboshiyane said the PEC agreed with the provincial working committee's recommendations that the conference was adjourned in line with election procedures and rules.

He said when the conference resumed, the steering committee would table an investigative report on the elections of regional executive committee members to plenary, and detail discrepancies identified from all conference documents.

These included documents from the registration process, accreditation of delegates, a credentials report, and the final preparation of the conference voters' roll.

The outcome of the region's election would be integral to Zuma's bid to retain the leadership of the party at its national congress in Mangaung in December.

The region is the largest in the Eastern Cape, and the second largest ANC region in the country, after eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal - Zuma's home province.