African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Council (NEC) member David Mahlobo has called for party members in the Free State to avoid conflict during the ninth Provincial Conference, which kicks off on Friday.
Mahlobo, who led the Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) of the Free State conference, was speaking during a media briefing on the state of readiness of the conference, which was postponed in 2022.
“As the IPC, we are satisfied of the preparations of the conference and we are confident that, working together with the branches, we will be in a position to conclude our tasks. This ninth Provincial Conference meets constitutional requirements. We are also satisfied that the province has reached a branch participation benchmark at this point,” he said.
The road towards the Free State conference has not been easy, as structures had to be reconstituted.
There have been several claims, including allegations of parallel branches, and tampering with delegates.
“We need to indicate that there has been a Credentials Committee that the Independent Electoral Commission has delegated to be led by the Deputy Secretary of the province, Pule Letso. We are satisfied that such issues have been dealt with in all the branches and that the leadership of the regions of the ANC are satisfied with our processes,” Mahlobo said.
He believes that the three-day Free State conference will be able to tackle key issues, while noting that the ANC held its fifty-fifth National Conference in December.
“The Free State, with its own peculiarities, will have to be able to produce key resolutions that will be able to assist the ANC government of the Free State that they discharge their responsibility so that the issues that are affecting the people of the province are being attended to,” Mahlobo said.
The ANC’s national chairperson Gwede Mantashe will open the conference and party president Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver closing remarks and congratulate the new leadership.