Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala says they will not hold the ANC Elective Conference at ransom due to the court battles taking place on the party’s internal matters.

Zikalala says their main focus now is for the party to have a successful conference that will help advance the interest of South Africans.

He was addressing the media on the High Court ruling in Pietermaritzburg on Friday, which pronounced the provincial elective conference null and void.

Zikalala says the ANC cannot suffer because of 27 members who will not be voting in the conference.

“We are not here for the numbers; we are here for the ANC. The ANC comes first; we must always prioritise the interests of the ANC. We have decided as KwaZulu-Natal that we are not going to hold the conference at ransom and keep the conference debating the participation of 27 comrades. We have just said, we, the  Provincial Executive Committee members, are also coming from delegates and fortunately, the majority of us were elected as branch delegates and therefore, let us not keep debating where we must participate or not.”

He says the delays experienced at the elective conference need urgent attention from the national leaders of the party.

Zikalala says it is unfortunate that the conference has to run behind schedule due to court battles in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State provinces.

Zikalala says this cannot be attributed to the outgoing ANC leadership, but is a problem facing the party as a whole. He says the organisation has to self-introspect on some of its challenges.

“It is a reflection on the organisation in totality and the fact that you will have comrades who will want to bock down the conference around court cases; the fact courts will take time on announcing or issue judgements on the eve of the conference. All of that are issues to be considered. However, we want to thank President Zuma for his sterling leadership he has shown as the president of the country. The last he has done is to provide our people with free education.”