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Duarte: Court judgments delayed adoption of credentials

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has denied claims that there were branches that inflated the size of their delegations.

FILE: ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has confirmed the adoption of credentials at the 54th national conference was delayed by a day due to the court judgments against the ANC leadership in KwaZulu-Natal, North West and the Free State.

Several other branches have been disqualified due to their failure to meet party requirements for participation in conference activities.

Duarte has denied claims that there were branches that inflated the size of their delegations.

The numbers at the ANC conference have attracted much attention because of the vote for a new leadership, including a ballot to settle the presidential race between Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa.

The adoption of credentials is a big moment for the conference, as it means the programme can now continue as scheduled after long delays and allegations of bogus delegates and problems with the registration process.

Duarte confirmed on Saturday that the programme had to be delayed to make sure the information of all delegates had been correctly captured and verified.

She says the number of those voting is less than originally anticipated.

“We now stand at approximately 4,700. So, its lower than the number that should’ve been there to vote.”

VOTING PROCESS WILL NOT BE RUSHED

Duarte says the voting process will not be rushed, with the new leadership hopefully announced on Monday morning.

“We don’t rush results. We’d like them to do a thorough and proper job. To get our voters to the voting station, we’ve approximated about 200 people per round.”

This confirmation means that there no longer needs to be any speculation around adoption but also that there is now a better understanding of just how many delegates will be voting.

Duarte has also moved to clarify that there have been no inflated numbers.

There were allegations of exaggerated numbers and bogus members being included from KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and the North West.

Duarte also said the delay in the credentials being adopted was because of the court rulings from these three provinces and the delicacy needed to change members from voting to non-voting delegates.

Going forward, the adoption of the rules of the conference needs to get underway, which will then be followed by the proposed constitutional amendments.

Some members were visibly tired, with ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa even told us that Duarte did not sleep on Saturday night because she was part of the credentials process.

“The deputy secretary-general, Comrade Jessie Duarte, who hasn’t slept for days as part of people who are heading credentials.”

Both Kodwa and Duarte say there is no plan to have the programme run longer than the five days it was set down for.

“And so, the work of the conference, we are hoping we can be done on Wednesday night.

“We have no plan beyond the 20th of this month.”