Cape Town - 121016 - The ANC responds to the proposed closure of schools. Marius Fransman, WC Regional Chairperson continues his race-based argument, arguing that this is a means to continue to undermining and control of blacks in the province, while Cosas Secretary, Samkelo Mqomboti vows that no school will be allowed to shut down, and Donald Grant will be made to see the errors in his way. REPORTER: ILSE FREDERICKS. PICTURE: THOMAS HOLDER

A conference to nominate leaders for the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung in December showed no signs of starting in Alice in the Eastern Cape on Thursday night.

However organisers had promised that the province's list of candidates would be ready by the end of the night.

The conference at the University of Fort Hare was scheduled to start at 2pm, but by 7pm delegates were still being registered and queuing for dinner in a lecture hall.

“Today's programme of this provincial conference will run until all matters are concluded, meaning we could have results released in the evening, after delegates have nominated their candidates for the NEC national officials,” party spokesman Pindile Miza said.

The conference comes after the ANC's second-largest region, OR Tambo, based in Mthatha, unanimously voted to nominate Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to lead the party.

All 107 delegates at a regional general council meeting on Wednesday supported Motlanthe to take over as president of the party, with Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale as his deputy and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula as secretary-general.

Regional chairman Thandekile Sabisa told the SABC on Wednesday that under Zuma the party had failed to address issues raised at the 2007 Polokwane conference.

“The use of state power, factionalism, ill-discipline, etc... This leadership has failed to address those issues. It's not credible, it's under attack and not respected by opposition parties,” he said.

“We then said, let's find leadership that will be respected by the people of South Africa and the membership of the ANC. Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe, we believe, is the one that would bring back the dignity of the organisation.”

Earlier this month, the Eastern Cape was hit by reports of “ghost members” on its membership book.

Provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane reportedly said they had discovered that databases from public and private institutions had been used to get people's details and enrol them. Some were not even aware they were ANC members.

The culprits had also deposited R12 joining fees, so the ghost members were in “good standing”.

Mabuyane said the problem was discovered when the membership register was checked ahead of branch meetings to discuss the upcoming national elective conference in Mangaung.

The Eastern Cape would take 676 delegates, the second-biggest delegation, to the ANC's leadership election in December. - Sapa