South Africa

Delegates sleeping rough in Mangaung claim Mantashe plot

By Greg Nicolson 16 December 2012

Delegates who slept on the streets or on buses outside the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein blamed ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe for failing to organise their accommodation. Some believe they are being targeted because they do not support Zuma's re-election. By GREG NICOLSON/NewsFire.

NewsFire saw delegates from Gauteng, Limpopo, Western Cape, Northern Cape and North West without accommodation on Saturday night.

“He knows exactly what he’s doing,” said a Gauteng delegate from Johannesburg’s West Rand who did not want to be named.

“It all comes back to the nominations. Four provinces did not support Zuma, Gauteng, Limpopo, Western Cape and Northern Cape,” he said. He believes the hundreds of people without accommodation will not receive help. NewsFire counted over 20 buses of delegates camping on the street.

“It is not right the way they are treating us. Those from other provinces are in hotels,” said the unnamed delegate, accusing ANC leaders of favouring KwaZulu-Natal.

Three North West delegates said they were there to support Zuma and did not blame their situation on a power play.

Those on the streets had not received food and were forced to use nearby public toilets. 

Phinas Salane, also from Johannesburg’s West Rand, added, “It is probably a strategy so that when we get to conference we are tired.”

The delegates said they would raise the matter on the floor of the ANC conference. DM

Main photo: Some ANC delegates slept on the streets or on buses in Mangaung on Saturday night. Greg Nicolson/NewsFire.