East London – At least eight people had to be taken to hospital after violence erupted at the ANC’s Eastern Cape elective conference late on Saturday night.

Blood stains were seen on the floor of the International Convention Centre in East London, where the conference is taking place.

This came after police fired stun grenades to disperse a group of ANC members outside the gates of the convention centre earlier in the evening.

The group was divided among those in support of provincial chair Phumulo Masualle and those for secretary Oscar Mabuyane.

After numerous delays, the nomination process finally started after midnight, when a quorum was reached and 951 out of the 1706 registered delegates nominated candidates.

Mabuyane was present and accepted his nomination for provincial chair, while Masualle was not present to accept his nomination for provincial chair for a third term, and Andile Lungisa was not present to accept his nomination as secretary.

Lulama Ngcukayithobi accepted the nomination of provincial secretary, and Mabuyane declined nomination for secretary.

Phone calls were made to see if the other nominees would accept their positions, and the conference was adjourned.