Mantashe and co call off consultative conference after overwhelming heckles

ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Mantashe says the disruptive singing was ‘planned and deliberate’.

After last night’s disruption while ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe tried to address the crowd in Durban, the ANC consultative conference has been called off.

Mantashe on Saturday morning, at the University of Zululand, said the disruptions were “planned and deliberate”, and the consultative conference could therefore not go ahead.

Delegates sang songs in support of former President Jacob Zuma last night, and would not allow Mantashe a moment to speak.

The “consultative conference” was set to take place over the weekend after the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) provincial elective conference was halted via a court interdict on Friday night.

WATCH: Gwede Mantashe drowned out by angry KZN delegates

The delegates refused to let Mantashe deliver his keynote address on behalf of Ramaphosa, who was in Canada attending the G7 summit.

A frustrated Mantashe challenged the delegates as they sang “what has Zuma done?” in isiZulu, referring to the party demanding former president Jacob Zuma resign from his position as head of state earlier in the year.

“If this is an ANC meeting, I will speak here tonight. If it is a factional meeting, I will not speak. Regional chairpersons must talk to their delegates. I am going to speak here tonight,” Mantashe told the unhappy delegates on Friday night.

But the crowd responded only to KZN ANC provincial coordinator Sihle Zikalala, who was expected to stand unopposed as provincial chairman if the elective conference took place.

The party was locked in a closed meeting at the university on Saturday morning, where the cancellation would be discussed.

The province was set to rerun its eighth conference from Friday to Sunday at the University of Zululand to elect a new leadership, but the granting of an urgent interdict by the Pietermaritzburg High Court just after 6pm on Friday evening saw chaos descend on the troubled province.

– African News Agency (ANA)

 

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