WATCH: Violence mars ANC EC conference in East London

Hours of uncertainty, disruptions and protests culminated in gruesome scenes playing out at the ANC provincial conference in East London in the early hours of this morning.

At the stroke of midnight, violence broke out with chairs hurled and beatings which landed eight delegates in hospital.

Blood on the floor of the ICC bore testament to the brawl which lasted several minutes.

Protesting members, said to be from the Nelson Mandela Bay and Amathole regions, claimed the venue was filled by bogus delegates.

ANC national spokesman Zizi Kodwa said the group had tried for three hours to disrupt the conference.

He said they raised disruptive points of orders, they frustrated meeting chairpersons and sang consistently during the closed seating.

This was despite further verifications which lasted for several hours yesterday.

Earlier in the day delegates were only allowed to enter when their names were called during roll call.

Each delegate had to produce their ID and accreditation.

The ANC is expected to announce its provincial top five leadership structure as well as additional provincial executive members.

Hundreds of delegates filled the East London ICC as robust talks over credentials continued.

At a press conference later Kodwa condemned the violence.

“It’s unheard of in the ANC that such an incident would happen in the ANC conference. We have tried to abolish what’s called slates and factionalism, that is to an extent to which factionalism was so entrenched,” Kodwa said.

“We are a democratic organisation what we are beginning to see is people who are prepared to contest but they are not prepared to lose.”

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