Lengthy accreditation quite a song and dance
ANC members kept themselves entertained at a lodge in Polokwane yesterday by singing, while waiting to be accredited for the party’s Limpopo elective conference.
Songs and slogans in support of the party’s provincial chairman and premier Cassel Mathale rang out at the Cosmo Leisure Lodge.
Mathale re na le wena (Mathale we are with you), was one of the tunes that drew some delegates to their feet.
Mathale is said to be linked to a group opposed to President Jacob Zuma’s re-election as head of the ANC next year.
Yesterday evening Mathale’s detractors were also chanting in support of their preferred candidate – Deputy Arts and Culture Minister Joe Phaahla, one of Zuma’s allies.
Former ANC provincial executive committee member Joe Mathebula was reportedly a candidate for the position of deputy chairperson.
Accreditation started slowly. Journalists were told to go to the ANC offices in the Frans Mohlala building in Polokwane to collect their accreditation before midday. Once there they were told to go to the lodge, about 7km away, where they were told to return to the ANC office. On arrival journalists had to fill in forms and have their photos taken, and were then told to return to the lodge to await developments.
Earlier in the week, officials said they expected about 1 400 delegates, including guests and ANC alliance partners. The conference was expected to set the tone for the ANC’S succession battle in Mangaung in 2012.
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema had reportedly been nominated for a position in the provincial executive committee, despite being suspended for ill discipline.
Reports suggested that if Mathale were to win, it would boost the youth league’s campaign to replace ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe with Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula, and ANC president Zuma with Kgalema Motlanthe.
Zuma had been expected to address the delegates over the weekend, but the ANC section replaced him with Deputy President Motlanthe. – Sapa