Johannesburg - Ahead of a crucial vote which could determine his future, and many of those who have been ardent supporters of ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, North West ANC chairperson Supra Mahumapelo struck a conciliatory tone.
Speaking to journalists before the party’s plenary session, on Day 2 of its elective conference, Mahumapelo warned against triumphalism, adding that both Dlamini Zuma and party deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa had expressed a commitment to work with one another, whoever was elected as party leader later on Sunday.
Late on Saturday the conference ground to a halt over the adoption of branch credentials, with the number of voting delegates reduced from 5186 to 4776, as branches failed the ANC’s three-step verification process.
And despite the predictions that the ANC’s 54th elective conference would collapse without an outcome, due to the nature of the contestation, Mahumapelo said things had generally run smoothly.
“There are people who said this conference would collapse, others were saying that we’re going to throw each other with chairs, that we’re going to stab each other with knives, fist fighting, the credentials would not be adopted, (President Jacob) Zuma would be booed, conference might be interdicted. None of those has happened,” said Mahumapelo.
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He said the party’s leaders rose to the occasion, and the provincial chairpersons met and had “consistent discussions” to thwart “every element of risk” which could collapse the conference.
“We’ve been talking to the delegates around their conduct, even this morning we were addressing delegates. Everything went very smoothly, everything until Wednesday (when conference closes),” said Mahumapelo.
While both set of supporters were expressing confidence that their preferred candidate would win, Mahumapelo warned that the vanquished should not abandon the conference after the results were announced.
“The revolution continues, but those who have made it tomorrow (when election results are announced) must work with everybody, unite the organisation,” said Mahumapelo.
He said this elective conference of the ANC was different from the previous ones in Mangaung and Polokwane, and that the meeting at Nasrec had exemplified unity.