All set for the big indaba in Polokwane

Ido Lekota

Ido Lekota

All roads lead to Polokwane where thousands of ANC members and invited guests will be attending the party's 52nd national conference.

The five-day conference at the University of Limpopo in Mankweng township will be attended by more than 5000 delegates, 135 observers from allied organisations and 360 local and international guests. At least 700 local and international journalists are expected to cover the event.

The ANC is expected to elect its new president and national executive committee at the conference.

So far, there are only two men in the running for presidency - current president Thabo Mbeki and his deputy Jacob Zuma. Zuma is ahead in the leadership race after being nominated by five provinces, the ANC Youth League and the ANC Women's League.

With the wide gap between him and Mbeki, Zuma is expected to be the new president of the ANC and eventually of the country.

The race between the two men has been extremely acrimonious. A recently completed documentary commissioned by the SABC titled "Through the Eye of the Needle "captures the hatred that now exists between the two camps.

For example, the documentary shows Mbeki's camp labelling Zuma's supporters as "liars and rapists".

On the other hand, Zuma's camp regards Mbeki's supporters as "corrupt power-mongers who use state resources to achieve their political goals".

Registration for the conference starts tomorrow at the hangar of Polokwane International Airport.

The conference proceedings start on Sunday with an opening address by Mbeki.

Thereafter, ANC secretary- general Kgalema Motlanthe will present the party's report.

The report provides a critical analysis of the achievements, shortcomings, strengths and weaknesses of the party.

The top six leadership positions - including president and deputy of the party - could be known by Monday evening