Sihle Zikalala, Mike Mabuyakhulu, Mafu Nocawe, Ace Magashule, Zwele Mkhize and Jackson Mthembu at the ANC KwaZulu-Natal conference held at DUT Steve Biko campus. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/ African News Agency (ANA)

Durban – The long awaited African National Congress (ANC) KwaZulu-Natal provincial conference was hit with additional delays on Friday night due to credential disputes.

The party is currently attempting to re-run its eight provincial conference, originally held in 2015, which was declared invalid by the Pietermaritzburg High Court last year.

That ruling saw KwaZulu-Natal’s official ANC leadership team being suspended by the mother body and an interim leadership structure being installed.

The interim leadership team was tasked with solving internally the disputes that led to the court action in order to pave the way for the re-run of the conference. 

The re-run is taking place at the Durban University of Technology but has been beset with delays.

According to the programme for the conference, credentials were supposed to be presented for adoption on Thursday night, the first day of the conference, which is set to end on Saturday.

However, the entire conference was delayed by hours on Thursday due to an attempt to interdict the gathering, which was eventually dismissed with costs.

The conference was set to start at 2pm but eventually only kicked off at about 8pm and continued until the early hours of Friday morning.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was set to deliver the keynote address and opening speech at 4pm on Thursday but had to attend to “international” matters. ANC secretary general Ace Magashule eventually delivered a lengthy opening address after 8pm.

Provincial convenor Mike Mabuyakhulu only delivered his political report after 10pm and delegates eventually left the venue at about 2am after other programme items were completed.

Friday morning’s proceedings were also significantly delayed as tired delegates started trickling into the conference venue hours later than expected.

Nominations and voting for new leaders can only take place once delegate credentials have been vetted and adopted, a crucial process that lends authenticity to the conference by sifting out any potentially illegitimate voters and fraudulent registration processes.

If credentials are not adopted, the conference could be halted. If credentials are adopted while there are still disputes, the legitimacy of the conference will be questioned, which could lead to court action.

African News Agency (ANA)