Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo
Johannesburg - Energy Minister David Mahlobo on Monday urged the losing candidates to respect sovereignty and decisions of the party's 54th national elective conference. 

Mahlobo was speaking on the third day of the conference, currently underway at the Nasrec centre, south of Johannesburg. 

Addressing reporters, Mahlobo slammed the mud-slinging taking place among delegates. 

"Comrades have insulted one another, have done character assassinations. There are words they'll wish they could take back on the 20th. We need to reflect.

"There are those invested emotionally in these matters of internal democracy."

Video: Khanyisile Ngcobo
Mahlobo also had a message for the losing candidates, urging them to respect the decisions taken at the conference. Additionally, the losers needed to be the first to congratulate the winners and rally behind them.

"Those who have lost, we expect them to respect the sovereignty of conference. The delegates come here as the biggest decision-making body.

"ANC belongs to all its members equally and those given the honour to lead must never forget their responsibility," he said. 

His words come as voting for the party's new top six slowly draws to an end, with results expected to be announced by the end of the day. 

The frontrunners for the highly contested race are Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.