003 President Jacob Zuma receives a present during a walkabout at Gallgher Estate during the ANC policy conference in Midrand. 280612. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - A good-natured singing contest at the ANC policy indaba on Thursday brought to life some of the political tensions that were meant to play second fiddle to matters of policy.

One group sang in support of President Jacob Zuma, flashing the two-fingered victory sign which has come to symbolise a presidential second term.

The other, using the soccer substitution sign symbolising their wish for leadership change, chorused their desire for new faces at the top.

At one stage support for a second term for Zuma was conflated with the second transition document which Zuma had forcefully endorsed: “Siyavumelana i-second transition (We have agreed to the second transition)” became “Siyavumelana i-second term (We have agreed to a second term)”.

But ANC policy boss Jeff Radebe and Tony Yengeni, the head of the ANC political school, would have none of it when quizzed on these events at a subsequent media briefing.

Both categorically denied any link between the document and the man.

“This document has absolutely nothing to do with a second term… It has nothing to do with the election of anyone in any position,” said Yengeni, adding it was “absolutely mischievous” to link the two.

The discussion document, now named “The Second Phase of the Transition”, was adopted within less than an hour, with 10 minor amendments, in a plenary session.

Political Bureau