Lengthy ac­cred­i­ta­tion quite a song and dance

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

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

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