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Madikizela backers refuse to enter ANC conference ‘packed’ with Mabuyane faction

ANC Eastern Cape leadership contender Babalo Madikizela speaks to reporters after registering for the provincial conference in East London on May 6 2022.
ANC Eastern Cape leadership contender Babalo Madikizela speaks to reporters after registering for the provincial conference in East London on May 6 2022.
Image: SITHANDIWE VELAPHI

ANC members aligned with Babalo Madikizela, one of the Eastern Cape leadership candidates at the provincial conference, refused to enter the venue on Saturday.

Supporters of Madikizela sang loudly outside the international convention centre in East London as party chairperson Gwede Mantashe opened proceedings.

Mantashe called for calm and maturity but Madikizela had to leave the conference to ask his supporters to be quiet and enter peacefully. 

“Let's allow the national chairperson to address conference — once he is done the friends of delegates will leave. Please enter peacefully,” he told them.

The Madikizela group was understood to be unhappy that the plenary session had been filled with “friends of conference” who support Oscar Mabuyane, Madikizela's rival for the party leadership in the Eastern Cape.

Mantashe, meanwhile, spoke strongly against people who manipulate processes, saying they must be dealt with.

He called for the conference to rebuild the ANC.  “We belong together and we must rebuild the ANC together. We cannot be divided by conference — that would mean every five years we must fight,” he said.

“We can't fight every five years. Beyond the conferences we must be in the ANC together. When we contest one another we are not enemies of one another — this is not war but a conference.” 

TimesLIVE


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