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FS ANC allowed to vote

Free State ANC delegates will be allowed to participate in the ANC’s national elective conference.

Entrance to the ANC Conference in Mangaung on 16 December 2012. Picture:Aletta Gardener/EWN

MANGAUNG - Free State ANC delegates attending the ANC's 53rd national conference in Mangaung will be allowed to participate in the conference and vote once the elections come around.

Delegates outside the plenary tent on Monday told Eyewitness News that the conference made the decision despite a letter authored by disgruntled ANC members who wanted to prohibit Free State members from voting at the conference.

The next step is for nominations to take place.

The ANC's electoral commission is currently introducing nominations to the plenary.

Confirmation on who is and who is not standing for election will be revealed after this meeting.

The ANC said secretary general Gwede Mantashe will meet with representatives from the Free State and North West ANC provinces to discuss the credentials issue further.

The credentials report, which was completed just before noon, and serves as the voters roll for the conference.

Earlier, members from the two provinces were asked to leave the conference while the highly contentious issue was being discussed.

The rest of the conference wanted to decide without them on how to proceed and whether those members should be a legitimate part of the conference.

At the weekend, the ANC's national executive committee announced that the Free State provincial executive committee (PEC) could not participate in its conference, after the Constitutional Court last week declared the Parys nominations conference unlawful and invalid.

The court's judgment favoured the six ANC members who put to the court that the executive was not properly elected.

The Constitutional Court only handed down its judgment and will give reasons for its decision on Tuesday.

They claimed parallel branches and ghost members were used to swing the outcome of elections, which resulted in a vote for Zuma.

The ANC's NEC at the weekend said only PEC members attending the conference in other capacities were allowed to participate.

The credentials serve as a voters roll for the Mangaung conference.

Pro-change delegates hoped to prolong the credentials debate in hope that it would eventually undermine the legitimacy of the conference and election.

Nominations for the ANC's top six positions were also delayed as a result of disputes over credentials, which went into the early hours of this morning.

National ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu yesterday said results from nominations could be revealed tonight if the conference got back on track.

RAMAPHOSA WANTS DEPUTY POST

Meanwhile, businessman Cyril Ramaphosa has reportedly confirmed to some media that he will accept his nomination for the position of party deputy president, this comes after earlier reports that he had rejected that nomination.

Five out of nine provinces elected the ANC national executive committee (NEC) chairperson to replace Kgalema Motlanthe.

Many delegates said they would choose to vote for Ramaphosa if Motlanthe opted to accept nomination and run against incumbent President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma meanwhile has been nominated by six provinces, including the ANC's biggest region, KwaZulu-Natal.