The ANC’s Nelson Mandela Bay regional elective conference got off to a slow start on Friday as party leaders were locked in meetings until late last night.
Delegates who had gathered at the ETC Conference venue, near Missionvale, loitered around as they waited for the go-ahead from the national and provincial leaders to proceed.
The conference, which was scheduled to be held over three days until tomorrow, is expected to elect a new crop of leaders to lead the ANC in the Bay.
Attempts to get official reasons for yesterday’s delay were unsuccessful as the leaders were in a meeting until late at the party’s regional headquarters, Florence Matomela House.
However, insiders said the conference was delayed by auditors who had to confirm the legitimacy of branch general meetings held this week. Thereafter, it would have to be signed off by secretary general Gwede Mantashe.
The ETC venue, which was initially buzzing with party branch members, was almost deserted later in the evening as many made their way to Florence Matomela House.
It was unclear by 9pm last night if the conference would go ahead this weekend.
Earlier this week, Mantashe caused waves when he sent out a letter to all provincial structures of the ANC barring any members of the provincial body from contesting the regional conferences, saying it was against the constitution.
This was a blow to ANC Bay councillor Andile Lungisa, who is hoping to be elected regional chairman at the conference even though he is a member of the provincial executive committee.
Lungisa responded to Mantashe’s letter by saying the secretary general had misinterpreted the constitution and that he (Lungisa) would stand for a position if nominated.