African National Congress (ANC) NEC member Mduduzi Manana, who was convicted of assault last year, was booed as he was introduced to delegates at the ANC Gauteng conference being held in Pretoria.
No one clapped as provincial speaker Ntombi Mekgwe announced the presence of Manana upfront as he sat next to Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. A section of the delegates booed when his name was called.
Dlamini-Zuma received loud cheers and clapping when introduced before Manana.
The embattled MP was convicted of assaulting two women at a Johannesburg nightclub. Two months ago, Manana’s then domestic worker Christine Wiro laid assault charges against him.
An audio recording then surfaced in which Manana could be heard offering Wiro R100 000 as “consolation” in exchange for dropping assault charges against him. The case is yet to be heard in court.
Meanwhile, ANC delegates arrived in Pretoria to find tight security protocol in place on Friday.
Security staff at the entrance to the venue searched vehicles and confiscated items such as liquor.
“We are very strict, no rowdiness will be tolerated. Anything that looks like a potential weapon is confiscated … no alcohol is allowed inside too,” said one of the ANC security personnel at the entrance.
Groups of delegates sang inside the plenary hall, whiling away time. The singing and chanting increased as the Ekurhuleni region walked. Ekurhuleni has the most delegates, at just over 300.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed delegates on Friday.
The hotly contested position is that of deputy chairman. The fierce contest is between education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, economic development MEC Lebogang Maile and former Johannesburg region chairman Parks Tau.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura is expected to be elected chairman unopposed.