Johannesburg - The ANC could have a new president and top leadership as early as Sunday night - but we will only know about it on Monday.

Earlier on Sunday at the Nasrec Expo Centre outside Soweto, current deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte announced that the delays in accepting the credentials of delegates had finally been resolved.

"Given the outcome of court cases on KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Bojanala in the North West. We decided that PECs of KwaZulu-Natal and Free State, that is those who are not branch delegates will not become voting delegates so that we comply with the judgment. Thirty-five branches in the North West have also been disqualified." 

The disqualified delegates can participate in the conference, but not in the voting. 

In the Western Cape, two branches who had been left out had appealed, provided documentation and were reinstated as voting delegates, said Duarte.

A total of 4776 delegates are now eligible to vote after an initial 5240 had applied. To win the election, a candidate needs 2 389 votes.

The battle over the eligibility of branches and delegates at the conference led to delays on Saturday night with the gathering being adjourned late at night as officials worked on the credentials.

ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte at an impromptu briefing confirmed that the credentials had been adopted. Video: Karen Sandison

KwaZulu-Natal’s delegation is down from 870 to 804, Gauteng is done from 508 to 491, Eastern Cape is now sending 632 delegates down from 648, Northern Cape has 193 delegates down from  197, the Western Cape is down from 182 to 136, Limpopo is down from 643 from 567,  Free State decreased from 409 to 349, North West declined from 538 to 446 while Mpumalanga went down from 736 to 708.

The leagues will send 175 delegated, the PEC’s bar those from KZN and Free State will send a total of 189 delegates while the NEC’s 86 members are also eligible to vote.

Delegates were due to spend early Sunday afternoon adopting the rules of conference and possible amendments to the ANC constitution, including expanding the 'top 6' of the party to a 'top 8'.

Once this has been resolved, the conference will go into plenary or open session for the nomination of candidates for the top 6 or top 8, following which the balloting papers will be drawn up and delegates taken in groups of 200 to vote.