Mabuyane emerges as new Eastern Cape ANC leader at violence-marred conference

Former Eastern Cape provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane has emerged as the newly-elected ANC provincial chairman amid deep-rooted divisions that resulted in a physical brawl‚ leaving many injured.

Just after midnight on Sunday morning a fight ensued between delegates supporting Mabuyane and former provincial chairman Phumulo Masualle after a deadlock on adoption of credentials.

Mabuyane emerges as new Eastern Cape ANC leader at violence-marred conference. Picture: SISIPHO ZAMXAKA / FILE

From the beginning the conference‚ which started on Thursday‚ was marred by delays stemming from unresolved disputes and complaints.

Things got heated on Saturday even though it took the whole day to verify and allow eligible voting delegates inside the conference venue. Delegates linked to Masualle disrupted the conference proceedings amid the adoption of credentials which later led to a fight breaking out.

Minutes after that‚ emergency services arrived to assist a dozen delegates that had been injured. This however did not deter vibrant conference delegates from electing their preferred candidates. As the injured were ferried to hospital then-deputy secretary Helen Sauls August presided over the conference.

Present were provincial and national executive members including Stella Ndabeni‚ Fikile Xasa‚ Nosiviwe Mapisa Nkqakula and Jackson Mthembu among others. After 1.30am on Sunday morning nominations began with Mabuyane and Masualle securing enough nominations per branch for the chairperson position.

A breakdown of the nominations reflected that there were two people nominated for chairmanship‚ two candidates for deputy chair‚ six for provincial secretary‚ three for deputy secretary and two for the treasurer position.

The election agency announced that Mabuyane received 935 votes while Masualle only had 7.

Meanwhile on Sunday morning the Masualle-linked grouping converged on the East London city hall for a meeting.
Among those present were Andile Lungisa and MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane.