Picture: DAILY DISPATCH
Picture: DAILY DISPATCH

The twice postponed Free State ANC’s provincial conference is now set to take place on Sunday and Monday, less than a week before the governing party’s national conference.

The conference has been postponed twice in the past two weeks, arising from a court order to rerun unlawful, irregular and unconstitutional branch general meetings.

At a hastily organised provincial general council meeting last week, the Free State nominated Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its preferred candidate to take over as ANC president.

The Free State also backed provincial chairman Ace Magashule to run as secretary-general.

But some party members in the province have taken issue with the status of the current provincial executive committee.

The provincial committee was initially ordered by the High Court in Bloemfontein to hold the provincial conference from December 1-3, but the conference was interdicted by another court order last week after ANC members raised issue with 29 branch general meetings in four regions of the province. A meeting on Tuesday then postponed the provincial general council to this weekend.

ANC Free State spokesman Thabo Meeko told Business Day on Wednesday the 29 branch general meetings in question would be rerun between Wednesday and Saturday and that the provincial conference would follow thereafter.

The conference will vote for new leadership in the province. The four-year term of the current provincial executive committee, led by Free State chairman Magashule, lapsed in May this year.

Meanwhile, the ANC members who interdicted the conference last week have sent a letter of demand through their lawyers to the provincial executive committee.

They ask that the provincial ANC give them copies by this past Monday of the signed attendance registers of every branch general meeting or biannual general meeting in the province in which delegates to the provincial conference and national conference were nominated, as well as the decisions taken at those meetings.

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