ANC says needs more time to address credentials disputes

The party failed to stick to its original program with the conference starting over seven hours late due to issues around the registration of delegates.

ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete speaks to journalists on the sidelines of the party's national conference on 16 December 2017. Photo: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) has admitted that the credentials acceptance process for conference is the reason why it’s adjourned proceedings from last night to this morning.

The party failed to stick to its original program with the conference starting over seven hours late due to issues around the registration of delegates.

The issue of credentials was bound to be a challenge for this conference because some ANC members complained about irregularities during the registration process even before conference started.

Baleka Mbete has confirmed credentials are not ready.

“I think they’re still cleaning up the credentials and the reason we thought we should adjourn is to give a lot more time.”

She says the ANC needs more time to address disputes that have been raised about the credentials.

Meanwhile, Mbete has publicly endorsed Cyril Ramaphosa for the position of ANC president.

Mbete herself was also initially in the running for the top spot.

She made the announcement after the adjournment of the first day of the party's 54th national conference on Saturday.

The plenary session at which the issue of credentials ahead of the nominations process was set to be discussed on Saturday night has been adjourned and will resume at 9am on Sunday.

[Watch] #ANC54 Why Baleka Mbete is endorsing Cyril Ramaphosa


President Jacob Zuma opened the conference with an assurance that state capture will be investigated and a warning that party members should not turn to the courts to deal with internal matters.

Zuma has given his final address as party leader after a delay of several hours following a meeting to discuss court rulings in three provinces and problems with accreditation.

He said the party needs to implement more radical measures for all South Africans to share in the wealth of the country.

“Doing nothing almost guarantees that there will be leaky progress in the resolution of the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment.”

Turning to corruption in the private sector, Zuma said this is being played down.

“Serious concerns have been raised about corruption in the private sector which is treated with kid gloves and is referred to in softer terms such as collusion, accounting irregularities or lapses in corporate governance.”

He also said the state needs to focus on resolving the land question.

“The Office of the Valuer-General has been set up and has begun to change the manner in which the calculation of fair compensation is done.”

WATCH: Zuma addresses ANC national conference

Zuma also lashed out at those who claimed that Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma’s win will implode the ANC and collapse the economy, saying the party has experience to manage succession.

“We have received threats that the ANC will explode and the economy collapse if there are certain outcomes of conference. ANC has 105 years of experience, of meaningful contestation.”

He said whoever loses at the conference must throw their support behind the winner and work together.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)