The African National Congress’ national chairperson Gwede Mantashe has confirmed to News24 that the political party’s KwaZulu-Natal consultative conference will be called off.

The province – which was set to hold its much anticipated elective congress this weekend – had to change it to a consultative conference following a court order barring it from going ahead on Friday.

On Friday evening, delegates refused to be addressed by Mantashe, breaking into songs about former president Jacob Zuma.

“It was a planned disruption, that’s it. [Mike] Mabuyakhulu couldn’t speak, they disrupted him. When Sihle [Zikalala] spoke, they allowed him but when I spoke they disrupted,” said Mantashe of the evening’s developments.

News24 understands that regional leaders will be expected to inform their delegates of the decision taken by the provincial task team at a meeting following the failed conference sitting.

‘It has no structure’

Earlier members from the Moses Mabhida, Harry Gwala and Lower South Coast regions applied for an urgent interdict while delegates in the province were registering to attend the conference.

They complained of illegitimate processes leading up to the conference.

The province was hoping to hold a re-run of its 2015 conference, which was nullified by the High Court in Pietermaritzburg. This saw an interim body being appointed by the ANC’s national executive committee.

“The only way forward is to go back to the drawing board then go back to conference,” said Mantashe.

“It has no structure. You can’t run a programme in a faction,” added Mantashe.

Mantashe said the divisions in the province could not even allow for a consultative conference to take place.

“They can’t even run a consultative conference. It will be a disaster if they continue. It will be a factional meeting because others will not be allowed to speak,” Mantashe concluded.

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