ANC president Jacob Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa during the 54th ANC elective conference taking place at Nasrec, December 16 2017. Picture: MASI LOSI
ANC president Jacob Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa during the 54th ANC elective conference taking place at Nasrec, December 16 2017. Picture: MASI LOSI

The battle over credentials will take centre stage at the ANC’s 54th National Conference at Nasrec on Sunday.

A last-minute national executive committee (NEC) decision to bar all delegates affected by court rulings from voting at the conference was at the heart of the delays.

But Business Day understands that there was also an attempt by a faction to switch delegates they did not trust to vote for their candidates, which was blocked by Luthuli House.

The credentials battle at the hotly contested Eastern Cape conference lasted more than six hours. At a national conference the stakes are higher, but officials are optimistic that it will be wrapped up by about 2pm, when a tentative walkabout by outgoing president Jacob Zuma is expected to be held.

It is understood that the faction aligned to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will put up a fight over their delegates being barred due to court processes during credentials and chairwoman Baleka Mbete may also come under fire as she chairs the session, due to her endorsement of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday night.

On Saturday, Zuma kicked off the fight against using the courts in ANC battles by saying that “serious decisions” on the matter had to be taken on the matter. The provinces hit by court rulings were all aligned to his preferred candidate, Dlamini-Zuma.

Zuma said the courts were eroding the authority of the ANC. Yet judgments have shown that courts are usually used as a last resort when members move to resolve disputes that they have with the organisation.

The wrapping up of the credentials fight on Sunday will mean that the conference is well and truly under way, and next up will be endorsement of the electoral commission and constitutional amendments.

Nominations for the top officials are also expected to take place on Sunday.

Please sign in or register to comment.