Chairs flew and there was blood on the floor during the ANC (African National Congress) Eastern Cape (EC) Conference over the weekend in East London, South Africa.
As the major divisions between ANC members were laid bare – with sparring members tearing into each other physically, whilst trying to elect a new provincial chairman – it left several ANC detractors saying this proved the ANC is not fit to govern the country when it can’t self-govern.
SA Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the crowd after the altercation, and cautioned that the mistakes made in the KwaZulu-Natal leadership “bungle” should not be repeated in the Eastern Cape. He labelled the chaos the “Festival of the Chairs”. (Watch video below of chairs flying.)
The election process continued while at least eight injured ANC voters were being hauled off to hospital, and key ANC delegates apparently walked out.
Oscar Mabuyane, former EC secretary, was finally elected as the new provincial chairman.
The fight had erupted in the early hours of Sunday morning between those supporting former EC secretary, Oscar Mabuyane, and those behind former Provincial Chairman Phumulo Masualle, after some questioned the proceedings.
Mabuyane finally emerged victorious… which didn’t go down well with the losers who have lodged an an application in court for an urgent interdict, challenging the outcome of the conference. This will be heard on Monday, although according to local reports it has no chance of succeeding.
The political conference was plagued with delays from the start, caused by disputes between members.
Mlindi Nhanha – DA Eastern Cape Spokesperson said the people of the Eastern Cape deserve better leaders and pointed out that the DA held its conference “peacefully” at the same venue four months ago.
— Dumisani Hlophe (@KunjaloD) October 1, 2017
— Mfana kaMshengu (@MawandeMvumvu) October 1, 2017
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— Jalamba (@sibango_sim) October 1, 2017
— Xoli Mngambi (@XoliMngambi) October 1, 2017
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” pic.twitter.com/bNpPe2Syox
— Khaya Dlanga (@khayadlanga) October 1, 2017