The ANC’s “consultative conference” set to take place at the weekend after the KZN provincial elective conference was halted, has also been cancelled. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban – The African National Congress’s “consultative conference”, set to take place over the weekend after the KwaZulu-Natal provincial elective conference was halted via a court interdict on Friday night, has also been cancelled.

ANC chairman Gwede Mantashe confirmed on Saturday morning at the University of Zululand that the conference had been cancelled. He said he believed Friday night’s disruptions had been planned and were deliberate.

Mantashe’s announcement followed a night of chaos as delegates gathered at the university demanding that the elective conference proceed despite the interdict. The delegates refused to let Mantashe deliver his keynote address on behalf of party president Cyril Ramaphosa, who was in Canada attending the G7 summit.

Instead, the frustrated delegates slapped their palms on tables and broke into song as Mantashe started speaking. They continued heckling as he tried to deliver his speech. A frustrated Mantashe challenged the delegates as they sang “what has Zuma done” in isiZulu, referring to the party demanding former president Jacob Zuma resign from his position as head of state earlier in the year.

“If this is an ANC meeting, I will speak here tonight. If it is a factional meeting, I will not speak. Regional chairpersons must talk to their delegates. I am going to speak here tonight,” Mantashe told the unhappy delegates on Friday night.

But the crowd responded only to KwaZulu-Natal ANC provincial co-ordinator Sihle Zikalala, who was expected to stand unopposed as provincial chairman if the elective conference took place. The party was locked in a closed meeting at the university of Saturday morning where the cancellation would be discussed.

The province was set to re-run its eighth conference from Friday to Sunday at the University of Zululand to elect a new leadership, but the granting of an urgent interdict by the Pietermaritzburg High Court just after 6pm on Friday evening saw chaos descend on the troubled province.

African News Agency (ANA)