NEWS

Ramaphosa Emerges The Winner At Eastern Cape Conference

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's supporters were left out in the cold as Ramaphosa's supporters were elected to lead the EC ANC.

02/10/2017 06:46 SAST | Updated 02/10/2017 06:46 SAST
GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa appears to have emerged as the real winner of the Eastern Cape's bloody elective conference over the weekend.

The faction supporting Ramaphosa as the next president of the ANC won, meaning the Eastern Cape will likely be behind his bid.

On Saturday, a group of ANC supporters reportedly tried to force their way into the International Conference Centre in East London where the conference was being held.

Around midnight, violence erupted over the adoption of credentials. One delegate was taken to hospital on a stretcher while seven others were rushed to hospital in an ambulance after chairs were thrown at the conference. Police used stun grenades on the crowd.

In scenes reminiscent of the ANC's 2007 conference at Polokwane, where President Jacob Zuma defeated former president Thabo Mbeki, 45% of the delegates present left the conference to hold their own conference at a separate venue.

Daily Maverick reported that most of these were either supporters of the losing faction or supporters of presidential contender and Ramaphosa's competition, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Business Day reported on Monday that Ramaphosa's allies were elected to lead the Eastern Cape ANC at the conference. The losing faction that was ousted at the conference has gone to court to interdict the conference in what is largely considered to be an academic exercise.

On Sunday, as he closed the conference, Ramaphosa said ANC members should extend an olive branch to the losing faction.

"I am also making a call to those comrades who are not here... I am saying remember one thing, we are all members of the same family of the ANC. We must come back and work together. If we can help it, let us resolve all our problems together rather than marching all over," he reportedly said.

City Press reported that Ramaphosa warned the winners of the conference against becoming arrogant.

"Rather than those of us who are here gloating and feel victorious, we should be asking ourselves what is our responsibility as the ANC to unite the African National Congress here in the Eastern Cape. That is what we should be focusing on. Comrade Oscar Mabuyane as the chairperson of the ANC here and his comrades who are now officials now have the task of uniting the ANC," he said.

Ramaphosa also condemned the violence.

"When I arrived here I thought to myself that there could be people who might have been injured. I wanted to go to hospital to visit those of our comrades who are injured. I was on my way to hospital when I was told that nearly all of them have been discharged...

"This is not the behaviour that is expected of members of the African National Congress. As the ANC we have to condemn and we do condemn violence as a method of addressing and resolving our differences and disputes among us. We cannot allow violence to be utilised as a way of resolving our differences and disputes amongst us," he reportedly said.

According to Daily Maverick, Ramaphosa was selected to close the conference as it was expected that his supporters would win.