East London - Unending disputes, high levels of security, late registration and unexplained delays summed up day one of the ANC’s Eastern Cape elective conference which is taking place at East London International Convention Centre.
Up until Thursday evening, the day the conference was supposed to have got underway with registration, the ANC’s provincial executive committee was still locked in a meeting trying to resolve disputes which were supposed to have been resolved on September 10.
This happened even though ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane announced in a press statement three weeks that branches who were qualified to take part in the conference were meeting the 70% threshold which is a constitutional requirement before a conference can actually commence.
ANC provincial chairperson Phumulo Masualle, who is vying for a third term chairmanship position against Mabuyane, said the delays were due to a fact a number of disputes were raised on the eleventh hour before the conference can actually begin.
“We really sought to run a process that is thorough, and that we wanted every branch to be accorded an opportunity to participate in the conference.
“Most of the disputes that have arisen have been satisfactory dealt. But with an organisation that is big as ANC, there would be never be a stage where everyone is happy with the processes and therefore even when a determination is made on the matter, there will be someone with an axe to grind on that,” said Masualle.
Masualle also apologised to media for a late start of the media briefing which was supposed to start at 2pm on Thursday but only started after 7pm.
“We profusely apologised to members of the media to keep them waiting. We did not start on time because we had to go through a number of checks and balances,” Masualle said.
However, Masualle assured that it was all systems go for party's 8th provincial conference starting on Friday.
A total of 568 branches out of the province’s 701 are set to take part in the conference ending on Sunday.