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Voting for 80 additional ANC NEC members underway

Voting was delayed because of a dispute over the vote for the position of secretary-general.

ANC members celebrate as the party’s new top six is announced at the 54th national conference on 18 December 2017. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Voting for the 80 additional members of the African National Congress's (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) has now started.

It follows delays due to a voting dispute over the position of secretary general.

Opposing factions are attempting to resolve a dispute internally over numbers in the voting for the ANC's leadership positions before turning to the courts.

The conference steering committee is expected to report back on dispute to delegates shortly.

It’s been confirmed that delegates have started casting their ballots for the NEC with the Mpumalanga delegation first up to cast their votes.

Voting was delayed because of a dispute over the vote for the position of secretary-general, which Free State Premier Ace Magashule snatched by a 24-vote victory from Senzo Mchunu.

At issue are 68 votes not added to the final tally for each position.

However, the margins of victory for the other posts were much bigger – but because in Mchunu’s case, the margin is only 24, these 68 votes could have a material difference of the vote for that position.

Eyewitness News understands that the steering committee which has been grappling with this dispute will now present a report on the matter to delegates at the plenary.

It seems the committee has found a political solution to the issue which is expected to form part of the report.

WATCH: #ANC54: Will there be a vote recount?

'NO EXTENSION REQUEST YET'

The Nasrec Expo Centre says despite the ANC having booked the venue until 20 December for its national conference, it has until 21 December to disassemble and remove what belongs to them from the premises.

The centre says while other clients have used the breakdown day to conclude their business, the ANC has not approached them for an extension.

This seems to suggest that the ANC remains optimistic that it will conclude the business of the conference by Thursday despite some serious delays to the programme.

Nasrec’s operational manager Nathan May says as far as he is concerned, the party has not asked for an extension on the bookings and believe the conference should be concluded by Thursday.

He says, however, while clients have used the day of clearance which is the day after an event to continue with its business, that should be discussed with him and management.

At the same time, while the elective conference has been hit by several delays, the ANC says there are no plans to extend the meeting beyond Thursday.

There has been contestation over the position of secretary-general with calls for a recount of votes.

The ANC’s Khusela Sangoni says the conference will wrap up as scheduled.

“There’s no indication of any need to go beyond tomorrow evening and we’re committed to finishing the work as late as it needs to be.”

Sangoni says they’re planning to work into the night to ensure there are no delays.

“We’ve gone into sectoral commissions now discussing issues such as the economy, communication, international relations and so forth.”

The ANC says it also expects commissions to finish their work on Tuesday while plenary reconvenes in the evening.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)