ANC deputy secretary-general Jesse Duarte addresses the media about the latest on the party's credentials during the 54th ANC National Elective Conference taking place at Nasrec on Sunday. Picture: MASI LOSI
ANC deputy secretary-general Jesse Duarte addresses the media about the latest on the party's credentials during the 54th ANC National Elective Conference taking place at Nasrec on Sunday. Picture: MASI LOSI

Credentials have been adopted at the ANC's national conference, with branches in KwaZulu-Natal, the North West, Free State, Gauteng and Mpumalanga being disqualified. 

Although they have been adopted, there are questions being addressed by the credentials desk. A total of 16 branches were disqualified in KwaZulu-Natal, the party's biggest province and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's power base. 

In the Free State and North West- both provinces supporting Dlamini-Zuma - 14 and 38 were disqualified respectively. 
The Free State provincial executive committee (PEC) and KwaZulu-Natal's provincial leadership, both with 27 delegates, were also disqualified. This followed court judgments. 

The ANC did everything to avoid litigation, which was what necessitated delaying the adoption credentials by a day, party deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said. 

The party had been fighting in court as members in KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and the Bojanala region in North West took their issues to court. 

Duarte said the provincial executive committees of the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal had been barred from being voting delegates, as the High Courts in Pietermaritzburg and in Bloemfontein nullified the provincial leadership structures. 

The PEC members will now be nonvoting delegates, unless they are voting delegates from their branches. 

In Gauteng, which supports Cyril Ramaphosa, four branches were disqualified, and in Mpumalanga one "bogus" branch was excluded. 

The expected number of voting delegates at the conference was 5,186 but 4,776 were present and registered. 

The adoption of credentials went faster than expected, implying that both sides were confident of a victory.

The Dlamini-Zuma caucus had a headcount on Saturday afternoon and the Ramaphosa caucus did the same late on Saturday night.

The swift adoption of credentials was done as delegates in the plenary said they wanted to proceed with the conference, as there had already been too many delays.

The next items up for discussion are the approval of the electoral commission and the constitutional amendments dealing with the expansion of the party’s top leadership structure.

Early on Sunday afternoon, Duarte said they had also disqualified some branch delegates from voting. Thirty-five branches from the North West were disqualified,  following a judgment by the High Court in Mafikeng on Friday.

She said postponing credentials was not strange, as it was about the credibility of the conference.

Duarte said the conference was still in a closed session and that it would deal with constitutional amendments and the rules of conference. She said an open session would take place later on Sunday, when nominations would take place.

On Sunday morning, ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini said the conference had experienced delays because the credentials process had not been concluded on Saturday night.

“We had a meeting as the delegation of the ANC Women's League last night and we raised our concerns regarding credentials. We believe we are going to be able to pull through and we will finish the business of this conference‚” she said.

“Credentials present us with a better opportunity to continue with the conference without any hustles‚” Dlamini said.

The results are likely to be available only on Monday morning.