Sanco members brawl at conference

Michael Tlhakudi

Michael Tlhakudi

Several people had to be treated for minor injuries when a fight broke out at Sanco's fourth national conference currently taking place at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein.

The problem started when an uninvited group wanted to gate- crash the conference.

This caused the conference to be delayed.

Ruth Bhengu, Sanco's deputy president, yesterday confirmed the incident.

She, however, denied the incident was as serious as it was made out to be.

"The whole thing was a bit exaggerated," she said.

Bhengu said the problem was solved after the delegates were allowed to attend.

Mlungisi Hlongwane, Sanco president, said that the earlier clashes must be regarded as a positive step because many members were now able to attend the conference.

"We see this as enthusiasm by delegates to come in big numbers, therefore we have made the necessary arrangements to accommodate everyone," said Hlongwane.

The conference was also delayed by a day after other delegates arrived late at the venue for the meeting.

Meanwhile, Sanco president Mlungisi Hlongwane denied allegations that he supports President Thabo Mbeki and not Jacob Zuma for the ANC presidency next year.

"We stand firm in our support for the ANC policy position on the succession issue, so there is no division in the alliance," said Hlongwane.

He said the succession debate required the ANC to resolve it itself because the Sanco conference was not the platform for such an issue.