ANC NATIONAL CONFERENCE
Jordan takes a swipe at Manuel
ANC veteran Pallo Jordan has accepted nomination for membership of the party's powerful national executive committee, saying that, unlike Trevor Manuel, he is not intimidated by Archbishop Desmond Tutu's stinging criticism of the ruling party.
Tutu last week told Manuel, the minister responsible for national planning, that he did not belong in President Jacob Zuma's government.
Manuel told newspapers late last week that he would not be available for re-election to the NEC because it was time to make way for younger people.
Yesterday, minutes after signing a form accepting nomination to the executive, Jordan fired a broadside at Manuel, suggesting that he had been intimidated by Tutu.
"I don't allow myself to be intimidated by the archbishop," he said. "I mean, I love Tutu [but] what Tutu says does not matter one way or the other. He can't even excommunicate me from his [Anglican] church," said Jordan, who is a Roman Catholic.
Jordan explained his late acceptance of the nomination by saying that he was abroad last week.
Jordan has been critical of President Jacob Zuma's performance in office, even accusing him of having acted in a way that stripped the presidency of dignity. - George Matlala and Thabo Mokone
Provinces hold up nomination of top 6
THE nomination of the top six officials was delayed for several hours yesterday as members fought over the acceptance of credentials and the participation of delegates from the Free State and North West.
Disgruntled ANC members who had alleged irregularities at branch level insisted that their concerns be addressed before nominations and voting could take place.
On Sunday, disgruntled Free State and North West delegates demanded that the party exclude Free State delegates from participating in the conference or risk being in contempt of Constitutional Court and North West High Court rulings.
Songezo Mjongile, Western Cape ANC secretary and a prominent campaigner for Kgalema Motlanthe, led the charge on behalf of those who wanted the Free State excluded.
After hours of heated debate, 324 Free State delegates were allowed to continue participating in the conference.
Three provinces, including Gauteng, and the ANC Youth League, tried unsuccessfully to convince the conference not to allow the two provinces to take part in nominating and voting. - Hlengiwe Nhlabathi
Development plan 'not one man's'
TREVOR Manuel's "unavailability" for membership of the national executive committee of the ANC will not set back the National Development Plan.
This was the opinion of Deputy Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene, speaking at a business breakfast on the sidelines of the conference in Mangaung yesterday.
Manuel, Minister in The Presidency for National Planning, was instrumental in drafting the National Development Plan.
But Nene said the plan was not about one man, it was "a nation's plan".
Investec CEO Stephen Koseff asked Nene whether the plan and the New Growth Path could work together, given that "they do seem to have a fair amount of conflict".
Koseff was one of 33 business leaders who placed an advertisement in Sunday newspapers last week to "urge" the government to implement its policies and give investors certainty.
This followed the downgrading of government debt by rating agencies Moody's, and Standard and Poor's, which could make financing for the state and state-owned companies more expensive.
Koseff cautioned against allowing another downgrading, saying it would put South Africa "on the cusp" and close to losing its investment-grade rating.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan had earlier remarked that he did not agree with the reasons given by the ratings agencies for the downgradings.
Nene yesterday said the downgradings had been made before the tabling of the medium-term budget and it seemed as if the ratings agencies had tried to influence "the outcome of the [ANC's] conference".
"The government needs to recognise the importance of these fellows [the ratings agencies]," cautioned Koseff. - TJ Strydom
Editor quits over Ramaphosa story
THE ANC's elective conference has claimed the job of a senior political editor after her newspaper inaccurately reported that businessman Cyril Ramaphosa had withdrawn from the party's leadership race.
An angry Gaye Davis, group deputy political editor at Independent newspapers, stopped Ramaphosa on his way out of the conference marquee yesterday to tell him she had resigned from her post following the publication of a story in The Star and other dailies that claimed that Ramaphosa had refused to run for the ANC deputy presidency on President Jacob Zuma's slate.
She told Ramaphosa, who had just been officially named as one of three contenders for the post by the ANC electoral commission, that she had told her bosses that she was not comfortable with the story but that they had insisted on publishing it.
An uncomfortable Ramaphosa tried to move away from Davis as she apologised but she continued explaining herself. Davis later confirmed that she had resigned.
She told Ramaphosa she had done it to "protect my credibility".
The story, which featured prominently in various publications of the Independent group, said that plans were afoot in the Zuma camp on Sunday night to find a replacement for Ramaphosa after he had refused to run against Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe for the post.
Davis was leading a team of Independent journalists who are covering the ANC elective conference. - Thabo Mokone