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Police Minister confirms investigation into power outage at ANC gala dinner

Some guests attending the ANC’s gala dinner on Friday evening, January 7, were forced to walk out of the venue following a blackout while President Cyril Ramaphosa was delivering his speech. Party officials have dismissed talk of a security threat saying this was a mere power outage. Pictures: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Some guests attending the ANC’s gala dinner on Friday evening, January 7, were forced to walk out of the venue following a blackout while President Cyril Ramaphosa was delivering his speech. Party officials have dismissed talk of a security threat saying this was a mere power outage. Pictures: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 8, 2022

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Durban - An investigation is under way into what led to the power outage at last night's ANC gala dinner.

SAPS Minister Bheki Cele confirmed that there was an interference with the electricity system at the Polokwane venue.

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The event was held at the Protea Hotel Ranch Resort and the lights went out just as President Cyril Ramaphosa was wrapping up his speech.

Organisers, party officials, ministers and business leaders who had paid hundreds of thousands of Rands to dine with ANC leaders at the Protea Ranch Hotel were left embarrassed as the lights went out while Ramaphosa was on the podium.

Asked by the media after whether the blackout was due to load shedding, ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile said it could be a fault. "It's not load shedding, there is no load shedding," Mashatile said.

"Somebody did interfere with the plug that only deals with the lights in the hall. The whole place had lights, even the speakers. This means that the plugs themselves were working," he said.

While he declined to confirm that it was sabotage, he said police would be investigating.

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