South Africa

South Africa

Darkness at the edge of the ANC town

The ANC's new national executive committee had been named. President Jacob Zuma and his top five officials were on stage. On the last day of the ANC's Mangaung conference, delegates sat in the sweltering tent, ready to hear Zuma give his closing address. The ANC's chaplain Reverend Dr Vukile Mehena, it's chief praise singer, was stoking the crowd. It's a once in five year moment. Then, the lights went out. By GREG NICOLSON.

Photo: While little explanation was offered, the lights reportedly went out in the ANC’s plenary tent after the diesel powering it run dry. By Branko Brkic/NewsFire

Photo: After the lights went out, some in the ANC top six were escorted out of the tent by bodyguards. Former ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe also left, but returned to sit in the dark like everyone else. By Greg Nicolson/NewsFire

Photo: Daily Maverick and NewsFire journalists Sipho Hlongwane and Ranjeni Munusamy continue to work in the dark. By Greg Nicolson/NewsFire

Photo: Some ANC delegates left the tent while others, particularly those from KwaZulu-Natal, stayed inside and defied the dark by singing struggle songs. By Greg Nicolson/NewsFire

Photo:ANC chaplain Reverend Dr Vukile Mehena was blessing the ANC’s conference when the lights went out. He continued to preach, with no microphone and no lights. By Greg Nicolson/NewsFire

Photo: From right, ANC NEC members Lindiwe Zulu, Joyce Mabudafhasi, Tina Joemat-Pettersson are lit by the glow of the ANC centenary flame. By Greg Nicolson/NewsFire

Main photo: ANC delegates study a list of newly elected national executive committee members using the light of a phone. By Greg Nicolson/NewsFire