East London - Outgoing African National Congress Eastern Cape secretary Oscar Mabuyane has been elected provincial chairman at the ANC's strife-torn conference in East London this weekend.
Following the voting at the conference held at the East London International Convention Centre, Mabuyane swept in with 931 votes against outgoing chairman Phumulo Masualle's total of seven votes.
The provincial conference was characterised by violence which saw eight delegates injured and hospitalised after violent scuffles in which chairs and other objects were thrown around in the venue. The clashes resulted in a group of delegates supporting Masualle abandoning the conference.
Despite their absence the electoral commission which presided over the election said the number of remaining delegates gave the conference a quorum to conduct the elections according to the ANC's constitution.
Mlungisi Mvoko was elected deputy provincial chairman with 935 votes. Lulama Ngcukaitobi was elected secretary with Helen Sauls-August his deputy secretary. Babalo Madikizela was elected provincial treasurer, rounding off the top five leadership positions.
Apart from the violence, the conference was also plagued by several lengthy delays caused by the verification process of delegates and efforts to root out "ghost delegates".
On Sunday afternoon, a group of delegates who supported Masualle's re-election bid gathered at the East London City Hall where they briefed the media on the way forward.
Former provincial spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane said they were planning to appeal the outcome of the conference through internal ANC structures. However, while Qoboshiyane said there were no plans to take the matter to court, Eastern Cape lawyer Mvuzo Notyesi confirmed to some journalists that he would represent the group in a bid to challenge the conference outcome in the High Court later on Sunday.
African News Agency